In what may shape up to be a major international incident over the next 48 hours, the United States has refused to withdraw diplomats from Venezuela, saying in a Wednesday evening statement that the US “stands with interim President Juan Guaido,” adding “The United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. Accordingly the United States does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata.
U.S. will conduct diplomatic relations with #Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido. U.S. does not recognize the #Maduro regime. U.S. does not consider former president Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations. https://t.co/DBS4GiGEWI pic.twitter.com/gQZJuS1xfn
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 24, 2019
Earlier Wednesday, Maduro broke diplomatic relations with the US, giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave Caracas after President Trump declared Maduro’s political opponent, Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido, the Interim President of Venezuela.
Guaido responded with a tweet of appreciation.
The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. https://t.co/WItWPiG9jK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2019
14 other countries have similarly recognized Guaido.
Recognising Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela:
– Costa Rica
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 23, 2019
Cuba and Bolivia, meanwhile, have expressed support for Maduro – while Mexico remains on the fence, supporting the empanada-eating Maduro “for now.”