Report: US Considers Recognizing Opposition Leader as Venezuela’s President

U.S. President Donald Trump is thinking about recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president, according to CNN, which cited three unidentified sources.

Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-led Congress, said last week he was willing to replace socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The White House did not immediately comment on the report, but U.S. National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told VOA on Tuesday the Trump administration “has expressed its support” for Guaido and that it “supports the National Assembly as the only legitimate democratic entity in Venezuela.”

Maduro assumed power in 2013 and has since been confronted with a growing list of international sanctions since winning another term in office last May in an election that was widely considered fraudulent.

Latin American, U.S. and Venezuelan critics have labeled Maduro a dictator who has implemented failed policies that triggered the country’s worst-ever economic crisis.

Maduro contends he is the target of a U.S.-led “economic war” aimed at forcing him out of office.

The oil-rich country’s economy has been hard hit by five years of recession and severe shortages of food and medicine. Economic hardship has forced some three million Venezuelans to emigrate since 2015.

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