US says time for new government in Venezuela

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Trump administration is ramping up its criticism of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and explicitly calling for the formation of a new government in the country.

The State Department says in a statement that it is now "time to begin the orderly transition to a new government." The statement reiterated U.S. support for the head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress who has said he's prepared to step into the nation's presidency temporarily to replace Maduro. It's the latest in a barrage of U.S. criticism directed at Maduro whose inauguration to a new term as president has been widely denounced as illegitimate.

The statement was released on Saturday in Abu Dhabi where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently traveling.