U.S. President Donald issued a statement Wednesday officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. President Trump announced his decision in a tweet in which he said: “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.” This was followed by a tweet from Vice President Mike Spence in a message to @JGuaido and the people of Venezuela in which he said: “America stands with you & we will continue to stand with you until #Libertad is restored!”
In his statement president Trump said Venezuelan National Assembly, “In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people …invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant.” Trump said he “will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.” He stated further that his administration continues “to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people.” He also urged other Western Hemisphere governments to recognize Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela.
In a statement following Trump’s announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Maduro “to step aside in favor of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people,” and stressed that the U.S. supports “President Guaido as he establishes a transitional government, and leads Venezuela, as the country prepares for free and fair elections.”