President Trump Just Made a Huge Move on Venezuela

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Posted: Jan 23, 2019 2:26 PM
President Trump Just Made a Huge Move on Venezuela

Source: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

UPDATE: Maduro says he's ending all relations with the United States and is kicking out all diplomats within 72 hours.

***Original post***

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence officially recognized Juan Guaido as the President of Venezuela Wednesday. As a result, the United States no longer recognizes dictator Nicolas Madura as the country's leader.

Brazil, Canada, Colombia and others have joined the U.S. in recognizing Guaido.

Yesterday Vice President Mike Pence indicated the administration would be making this move after speaking directly to the Venezuelan people about their ongoing plight.

The economic and humanitarian situation in Venezuela has suffered tremendously under Maduro, who "won" a rigged election in May 2018.  From NPR

Maduro, 55, replaced Hugo Chavez when the longtime Venezuelan socialist died of cancer in 2013. Since then, Maduro has presided over a collapsing economy, hyperinflation, widespread hunger and a mass of refugees trying to escape the desperate conditions. The country has been further hit by falling oil exports and U.S. imposed sanctions.

Fewer than half of registered voters turned up at the polls, but the opposition, which has boycotted the election, said even that figure was inflated.

Those opposed to Maduro have long maintained that the election is fraudulent, not least because the opposition's most popular leaders — the ones with the best chance of unseating the president — were barred from running.

Maduro, who is an avid Twitter user, hasn't responded. Last year he accused the United States of trying to kill him with a drone at a rally.