Biden Still Backs Guaido in Venezuela, Despite EU Downgrade
(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration still supports Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, despite the European Union downgrading his status as the country’s interim president.
The U.S. views elections last December that led to Guaido’s ouster as leader of the National Assembly as illegitimate and recognizes the legal authority of the assembly that was elected in 2015, and thus Guaido’s role as interim president, according to a National Security Council spokesperson who requested anonymity to describe the Biden administration’s thinking.
Earlier this year, the EU officially downgraded its view of Guaido’s status after three years of failed efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. The European body labeled him a “privileged interlocutor” one month after the Dec. 6 elections, even though the contest was deemed not credible by the EU and other international organizations. Maduro later formed a legislature full of loyalists in a bid to consolidate power.
Read more: EU Demotes Venezuela Opposition Leader Guaido in Statement
The administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump championed Guaido in its push to topple the Maduro government. The U.S. and more than 50 countries recognized Guaido as interim leader in early 2019, when he took control of the previous National Assembly controlled by Maduro’s opponents.
His claim was based on a supposed vacancy in the nation’s presidency after elections in 2018 that were denounced as fradulent.
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