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US’ Mike Pence pledges support to Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido

The United States vice president Mike Pence has said, he had talks with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday, through a phone call, to show him a sign of support from the US and a further sign of US displeasure with Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan president.

According to news reported by Reuters, a White House official said Pence’s intentions, during the phone conversation with Guaido, was to express Washington’s support for the assembly as the “only legitimate democratic body in the country”.

A day earlier on Tuesday, Venezuela’s Congress formally announced Maduro a “usurper” after the last-year disputed election, and CNN reported that the US President Donald Trump was looking forward recognize Guido as the next legitimate president of Venezuela.

The Trump administration has also been thinking whether to levy new round of the economic sanctions against Venezuela in order to pressure Maduro, who has been inaugurated on January 10. Maduro has yet faced strong criticism that his leadership is not legitimate, thus illegitimate, following the 2018 election, which was widely viewed as fraudulent.

According to Reuters, Guaido has said last week, he was willing to step down Maduro if he had supported from the military. Several government officials also claimed that Maduro should be taken down over treason charges, and Maduro was on Sunday, briefly detained by the intelligence agents.

During the call to Guaido, Pence lauded “his courageous leadership following his arrest and intimidation” on Sunday, a White House official said.

The official said: “The vice president firmly emphasized that the long-standing goal of the United States and all freedom-loving nations is to restore democracy to Venezuela through free and fair elections, and end the unprecedented humanitarian and economic crises in the once-rich cradle of Bolivar.”

The official further said: “Vice President Pence encouraged Mr. Guaido to build unity among political groups, and pledged continued support from the United States until democracy is restored.”

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