- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The United States’ special representative for Venezuela told lawmakers Tuesday that the Trump administration will continue to support interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader even if the government of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro forces the opposition from its control of congress.

Venezuela’s next election will take place Dec. 6 when voters will reassess the country’s National Assembly, which is currently led by Mr. Guaidó, who claimed that the most recent election that kept Mr. Maduro in power was fraudulent.

Officials within the Guaidó government have already launched claims that Maduro’s party has begun to manipulate the election process while Mr. Guaidó himself has vowed to boycott the vote.

Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Trump administration will view Juan Guaidó as the constitutional president of Venezuela “today and after Jan. 5, 2021,” when the new assembly will take over.

“[Mr. Maduro] will not change the legal status for many countries around the world — and especially for us,” Mr. Abrams said.

Mr. Guaidó has been recognized by the U.S. and some 60 other countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. But Mr. Maduro has so far successfully resisted an intense Trump administration campaign to drive him from power or to entice Venezuela’s powerful military to abandon the regime.

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