In response to disputed election results, Venezuelans from both sides have taken to the streets in recent weeks, according to news reports. The crisis began following the inauguration of President Nicolás Maduro to his second term on January 10, after an electoral process characterized by many in the international community and the political opposition as illegitimate, according to reports. The political crisis escalated when Juan Guaidó, the president of the National Assembly, on January 23 declared himself president under a constitutional provision that allows the assembly leader to assume the office if it is vacant, the Miami Herald reported.
More than a dozen foreign governments, including the United States and most neighboring Latin American governments, have supported this claim. In response, Maduro announced that Venezuela would break off diplomatic relations with the U.S., as protests against his government continue in major cities, according to reports.