World President Donald Trump has recognized a Venezuelan opposition leader as the country’s legitimate leader, refusing to rule out military action as the socialist-led South American nation is consumed by unrest and a number of countries warned the United States not to step in. Trump announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he “officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela,” thus severing already strained ties with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro days after he was sworn into his second term. Maduro officially cut ties with Washington in response, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday in a statement that the U.S. “does not consider former president Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations.” The U.S. position has stoked further protests against the Venezuelan government, which has been widely accused of mishandling the country’s economy, leading to historic hyperinflation, essential goods shortages and a mass exodus of refugees. Back in August 2017, Trump warned that the U.S. had “many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary,” and his administration has publicly discussed the prospects of regime change. The U.S. was joined by Latin American allies Argentina, Brazil, Chile and longtime… Read full this story
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