January 23, 2019 / 6:22 PM / 8 months ago

Trump recognizes opposition leader Guaido as Venezuela's interim president

Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, reacts during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday recognized Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s opposition, as the country’s interim president, ratcheting up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.

In a statement, Trump said he would use “the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy” and encouraged other governments in the Western Hemisphere to also recognize Guaido.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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