Trump has declared the head of the democratic opposition in Venezuela to be the legal president of the country, sparking potential conflict with the South American communist leader. Bloomberg reports:
President Donald Trump recognized Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela Wednesday minutes after the opposition leader declared himself the head of state, in the U.S.’s most provocative move yet against the leftist regime of Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro responded by breaking diplomatic relations with the U.S., giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.
Guaido, 35, is the president of the Venezuela National Assembly, which Maduro doesn’t recognize. Venezuelans took to the streets in the biggest opposition protests since mid-2017 to back Guaido and increase pressure on Maduro.
“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” Trump said in a statement. He said that because the country’s National Assembly had declared Maduro illegitimate, “the office of the presidency is therefore vacant.”
This is a historic event, and Americans are looking forward to freedom being defended in the Western hemisphere.