Hundreds-of-thousands of people took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday afternoon in protest of illegitimate President Nicolas Maduro and in support of internationally recognized President Juan Guadio.
Venezuela’s opposition filling streets nationwide today in protests against President Maduro and his socialist government. pic.twitter.com/IjzXdd6aOh— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 23, 2019
On Wednesday afternoon the Trump administration, in partnership with a number of Central and South American countries, officially declared Maduro is no longer recognized as the leader of Venezuela and that Guadio is the legitimate President of the country.
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 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
Maduro has responded to the move by banishing U.S. diplomats from the country within 72 hours and his thugs are firing live ammunition to stop protestors.
Maduro has no authority to expel U.S. diplomats or end diplomatic relations. The legitimate President @jguaido has asked U.S. diplomats to stay in #Venezuela. Our diplomats leaving would be tacit acceptance of Maduro legitimacy. Under no circumstances should we leave. pic.twitter.com/Bf3X1EBNCT— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 23, 2019
.@NicolasMaduro has undertaken a fight with the U.S. & international community he has no chance of winning.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 23, 2019
Far more impactful economic measures remain as options.
And I know for a fact that if Maduro responds with violence ALL options are on the table.