U.S. President Donald Trump has recognized Juan Guaido, the president of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, as the interim president of the crisis-mired South American country.
“In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant,” said Trump. “The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.
“I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy. We encourage other Western Hemisphere governments to recognize National Assembly President Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela, and we will work constructively with them in support of his efforts to restore constitutional legitimacy. We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of the Venezuelan people.”
The parliament is not expected to convene until Thursday at the earliest. Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of people are marching in Venezuela country demanding that socialist leader Nicolas Maduro step down from power.
NetBlocks, a civil society group, said it has detected major internet disruptions in Venezuela affecting services including Google and Android mobile platforms.