The Trump administration is calling for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down after recognizing the chief of the country’s opposition-led National Assembly as its interim leader.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo all issued statements proclaiming U.S. recognition of Juan Guaido. Each of them said the U.S. would take all diplomatic and economic measures necessary to support a transition to a new government.
In his statement, Pompeo said Maduro should “step aside in favor of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people.”
The United States recognizes Juan Guaido’s courageous decision to assume the role of Interim President per Venezuela’s Constitution Article 233. We support @AsambleaVE and their efforts to establish a transitional government and prepare #Venezuela for free and fair elections.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 23, 2019
Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday amid widespread street protests against Maduro.
At a pro-government rally, powerful socialist party leader Diosdado Cabello said right-wing forces do not represent the majority.