- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2020

President Trump rebuked Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the rightful leader of the South American country during his State of the Union Address.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Maduro is “a tyrant who brutalizes” the Venezuelan people and must give way to Mr. Guaido, who waved from the House gallery.

“Mr. President, please take this message back that all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” Mr. Trump said. “Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.”

Mr. Trump has gone out of his way to highlight the plight of people under “socialist dictators” in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, hoping to parlay it into a winning election message in key states like Florida and wield it as a cudgel a Democratic Party that’s lurched to the left.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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