Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido took over the country's embassy in Brasilia on Wednesday, leading to a standoff with backers of leftist President Nicolas Maduro, that could embroil Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a diplomatic crisis.
Tensions flared again over Venezuela's presidency on Wednesday, after supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido took over the Venezuelan embassy in Brasilia, where police were forced to break up clashes outside the embassy's gates.
The standoff could embroil Brazil in a diplomatic crisis, as it hosts the BRICS conference for emerging economies this week.
The confrontation at the embassy highlights the stark differences between Bolsonaro, who has recognized Guaido as Venezuela's leader, and the presidents from China and Russia, who are allies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Brazil's foreign minister said the Venezuelan embassy had been quote "invaded" and called on parties to respect the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations -- a sentiment echoed by Brazilian Workers Party legislator, Paolo Texeira.
(SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN LEGISLATOR FROM THE WORKERS PARTY, PAOLO TEXEIRA, SAYING: "This attack against the Vienna Treaty is very serious, and the Brazilian government has to take immediate measures to get these invaders out of the Venezuelan embassy." Guaido's envoy in Brazil, María Teresa Belandria Expósito, said in a statement that her personnel had gained access when a group of embassy workers opened the doors voluntarily.
Earlier this year, Guaido invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency, arguing that Maduro's re-election last year was fraudulent.
He has since been recognized by most Western nations as the rightful leader of Venezuela.