Juan Guaido called for massive protests on Tuesday against the regime of President Nicolas Maduro. The situation has turned violent in places. According to Reuters, dozens of armed troops loyal to Guaido clashed with regime soldiers and a pro-regime National Guard vehicle ran into opposition protesters.
Guaido is the leader of the National Assembly and recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by the United States, the European Union, and most Latin American countries.
The United States government is standing firmly behind Guaido.
“I am monitoring the situation in Venezuela very closely,” President Donald Trump tweeted. ” The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom!”
“We are with you!” tweeted Vice President Mike Pence. “America will stand with you until freedom & democracy are restored.”
“Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted. “The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated.”
Yesterday, Pompeo would not comment on how long he believed Maduro would stay in power in a conversation with the editor-in-chief of The Hill.
National Security Adviser John Bolton used the platform to warn several high ranking officials in the Venezuelan government to abandon Maduro or “go down with the ship.”
A spokesperson for the Treasury Department released the following statement on the current situation in Venezuela:
“The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and interim President Juan Guaido in opposition to the illegitimate Maduro regime. The path to sanctions relief for individuals and entities aligned with the former Maduro regime, including institutions such as PdVSA, is to change behavior by supporting Venezuela’s democratically elected leader and those who seek to restore democracy. The United States and our partners and allies stand ready to leverage the tools of the international financial community to help swiftly restart Venezuela’s economy. This Administration will continue to hold accountable those who stand in the way of restoring democracy to Venezuela.”
The United States was the first country to recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela more than three months ago. The current situation is the most serious threat to the Maduro regime since anti-government protests in 2017.