President Donald Trump has jumped to the support of the opposition leader who is trying to wrest control of the government of Venezuela from its dictatorial leader, Nicolás Maduro.
“The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.”
The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence also jumped to support the Venezuelan people.
“Today @POTUS announced the U.S. officially recognizes Juan Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela,” Pence said. “To @JGuaido & the people of Venezuela: America stands with you & we will continue to stand with you until #Libertad is restored!”
Today @POTUS announced the U.S. officially recognizes Juan Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela. To @JGuaido & the people of Venezuela: America stands with you & we will continue to stand with you until #Libertad is restored! pic.twitter.com/4W3hlGplql
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 23, 2019
On Wednesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the official president of the failing nation in an effort to take the country away from dictator Nicolás Maduro.
As the BBC reported:
It comes amid mass protests against President Nicolás Maduro who has overseen years of economic freefall.
Hyperinflation, power cuts and shortages of basic items have driven millions of people out of Venezuela.
Mr Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, after a vote marred by an opposition boycott and widespread claims of vote-rigging.
Maduro immediately broke ties with the U.S. after Trump came to the opposition leader’s support. Maduro gave U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.
For his part, Guaidó asked the military to end its support for Maduro and come to the side of the people.
Trump’s actions are amazing, though. Compared to the way Obama supported every dictator that came down the tin-plated pike, Trump is on the side of democracy.
Again, the BBC:
In a statement, Mr Trump described Mr Maduro’s leadership as “illegitimate” and said the country’s congress was the only “legitimate branch of government” in the country.
“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” his statement said.
The statement also said the US would hold Mr Maduro’s regime “directly responsible” for any threats to the safety of the Venezuelan people.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected Mr Maduro’s move to cut ties with the US, saying that the US did not recognise him as leader and would instead conduct relations “through the government of interim President Guaidó”.
The long-suffering people of Venezuela deserve relief.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.