Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized as interim president by the US and its allies, on Thursday rejected an announcement by the regime that he was barred from public office.
Guaido said the order, issued earlier Thursday by Auditor General Elvis Amoroso, was invalid.
"He is not auditor general.... The legitimate congress is the only one with power to designate an auditor general," he said.
The United States dismissed the announcement by Venezuela's ruling regime.
"That's rich. That's ridiculous," said State Department spokesman Robert Palladino of the 15-year ban, announced on state television by President Nicolas Maduro's auditor general.