US: Pence pledged support to Guaido in phone call

Washington's plan came before opposition leader declared himself new president, Wall Street Journal says

Umar Farooq   | 26.01.2019
US: Pence pledged support to Guaido in phone call

By Umar Farooq


U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made a telephone call with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido the night before he declared himself interim president, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Pence promised the U.S. would support Guaido, president of the National Assembly, if he took control of the government from its leader Nicolas Maduro, a senior administration official told the newspaper.

The telephone call came after a plan by Washington “developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaido himself," the Journal said.

It noted Venezuela had been one of Trump's key foreign policy concerns since he took office.

Following mass demonstrations across the country, Guaido declared Maduro's government illegitimate Wednesday and said he would become leader, invoking a clause in Venezuelan Constitution.

The announcement was followed by a statement from U.S. President Donald Trump recognizing Guaido as the new president.

Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Paraguay have followed suit while Bolivia and Mexico continue to recognize Maduro.

On Jan. 15, Pence made a similar telephone call to Guaido and offered the U.S.'s resolute support for the National Assembly as the only legitimate democratic body in the Venezuela.

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