CARACAS, Venezuela -- The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):
Australia is considering recognizing the rival claimant to Venezuela's presidency after the United States and many Latin American did so.
Congress leader Juan Guaido has declared himself interim president and said it was the only way to end President Nicolas Maduro's "dictatorship."
After the U.S. and others announced their support for Guaido, Maduro fired back late Wednesday by breaking relations with the U.S. and ordering its diplomats to leave. Washington says it will ignore the order.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Thursday that her government is considering recognizing Guaido as president.
She told reporters in Sydney that Australia was concerned about what the "clearly deteriorating political, economic and security and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and it is having significant effects across the Latin American region."
Venezuelans are heading into uncharted political waters, with the young leader of a newly united and combative opposition claiming the presidency and socialist President Nicolas Maduro digging in for a fight with the Trump administration.
Violence flared again Wednesday during big protests across Venezuela, and at least seven deaths were reported in the escalating confrontation with Maduro, who has been increasingly criticized by many nations.
Congress leader Juan Guaido turned up the heat by declaring himself interim president before a mass of demonstrators in Caracas. He said it is the only way to end Maduro's "dictatorship."
The U.S., Canada and many Latin American countries quickly announced support for Guaido.
Maduro fired back by breaking relations with the U.S. and ordering its diplomats out. Washington says it will ignore the order.