The United States has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president in Venezuela as thousands of protesters clashed with police and pro-government motorcycle thugs known as “colectivos.”
Guaido took the oath of office in front of tens of thousands of demonstrators, pledging to restore democracy to Venezuela. Just a few minutes later, the U.S. recognized Guaido as interim president ahead of elections.
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
The crisis began with the mutiny of a small military unit and quickly grew as protests engulfed formerly pro-government neighborhoods. So far, the military has remained in its barracks but with most of the country on the march and President Maduro pledging to “crush the fascists,” the army may yet have a role to play.
For his part, Maduro broke off relations with the U.S. and gave our diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. And his minions and toadies in government are not going to leave without a fight.