Trump recognizes Venezuela opposition leader Guaido as ‘interim president’

US President Donald Trump is recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president.

Trump describes hard-left President Nicolas Maduro as “illegitimate” and says the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, is “the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people.”

Trump’s support for Guaido comes shortly after the opposition leader declared himself “acting president” during a mass demonstration against Maduro.

Trump notes that the National Assembly had declared Maduro “illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant.”

“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” he says.

Trump urged other countries to follow his lead and promised to “use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.”


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