On January 23rd, the US State Department announced that it would not be withdrawing any diplomats and also vowed to respond if they come under any “threat.“
“We welcome interim President Guaido’s directive to all diplomatic missions in Venezuela that Venezuela intends to maintain diplomatic relations with all countries. The United States maintains diplomatic relations with Venezuela and will conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido, who has invited our mission to remain in Venezuela. 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.”
Self-proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido also asked all embassies to remain in Venezuela in a statement published on Twitter.
#Comunicado para todas las Embajadas presentes en Venezuela.
Responsablemente les digo que somos una nación soberana y seguiremos manteniendo las relaciones diplomáticas con todos los países del mundo.
Seguimos firmes en retomar el Orden Constitucional. pic.twitter.com/XODgm9rFbB
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) January 23, 2019
“Through the powers that the Constitution grants me, I would like to communicate to all leaders of diplomatic missions and their accredited staff in Venezuela — the state of Venezuela firmly wants you to maintain your diplomatic presence in our country. Any messages to the contrary lack any validity, since they come from people or entities that have been characterized as usurpers. They have no legitimate authority to make any statements on this.”
This came after legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his cous cutting antry ill diplomatic and political ties with the US and that Washington’s representatives have 72 hours to leave the country.
These developments took place amids protests which saw thousands of Venezuelans taking to the streets expressing their discontent with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Precisely then, the President of the Venezuelan Parliament Juan Guaido announced that he had assumed executive powers. At least 4 died during the protests.
The Venezuelan Military also rejected the US-approved Guaido.
“Despair and intolerance threaten the peace of the Nation. The soldiers of the homeland do not accept a president imposed in the shadow of obscure interests or self-proclaimed outside the law,” Vladimir Padrino Lopez said. The Bolivarian National Armed Forces defend the Venezuela’s Constitution “and is the guarantor of national sovereignty,” he added.
On January 23, US President Donald Trump expressed his recognition of Guaido as interim president on Twitter.
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
Later, while talking to reporters he also said that all options were on the table regarding Venezuela, even sending US military support to the country.
Over Twitter, self-proclaimed Venezuelan President Jaun Guaido expressed his thanks to Donald Trump for the support.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) January 23, 2019
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Maduro to step aside and confirmed the US support to the transitional government.
“The Venezuelan people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro’s disastrous dictatorship”, he said. “We call on Maduro to step aside in favour of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people.”
US Vice President Mike Pence also repeated Trump’s recognition of Guaido.
Today @POTUS announced the U.S. officially recognizes Juan Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela. To @JGuaido & the people of Venezuela: America stands with you & we will continue to stand with you until #Libertad is restored! pic.twitter.com/4W3hlGplql
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 23, 2019
Furthermore, Pence on the previous day posted a video on Twitter, expressing his support for regime change in Venezuela.
As the good people of Venezuela make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say: estamos con ustedes. We are with you. We stand with you, and we will stay with you until Democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of Libertad. pic.twitter.com/ThzIAqBoRn
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 22, 2019
Several Latin American countries also expressed their support of the opposition, including Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil. All of whom have a strong US influence within.
On January 20th, there was a military coup attempt that failed, Nicolas Maduro alleged that it was organized by the US and Brazil.
Prior to that, on January 8th, the the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan citizens close to Nicolas Maduro, including the owner of the major news network Globovision.
The sharpened attitude towards Maduro may also be a result of Russia’s developing ties with the current government of Venezuela. On December 10, two nuclear-capable ‘Blackjack’ bombers visited Venezuela. The reason was to participate in exercise. Around that time is when the US began sharpening its attitude towards the Venezuelan government and Trump mentioned that a military intervention was also not out of the question.
China, Russia, Iran and NATO member Turkey are among the nations, which have rejected the attempted coup and supported the legitimate government.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov officially warned the US against trying to topple Maduro by force.
“We believe it would be disastrous and would damage the foundations of the model of development preferred in Latin America,” he said. “As you know, one of the slogans, the conceptual elements of self-identification of the many closely connected nations in Latin America is unity in diversity.”
“As we see how the situation in Venezuela develops, we note the willingness of a certain group of countries, including the United States, to use different platforms such as the Organization of American States, to increase pressure on our ally Venezuela under different pretexts… But we have always supported and will support friendly Venezuela that is our strategic partner”, he stated.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that “outside sanctions or interference usually make the situation more complicated and are not helpful to resolving the actual problems”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called Guaido’s self-appointment “very strange” while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced solidarity with Maduro, saying “Maduro brother, stand tall”.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Venezuelan Military Rejects US-Appointed Leader Of Country, Vows To Defend National Sovereignty
- Venezuela Broke Diplomatic Ties With U.S. After Trump Recognised Opp Leader As Acting President
- US Vice President Openly Declares Its Support To Regime Change Attempts In Venezuela
- Bolton: US Does Not Recognize Venezuelan President Maduro’s “Illegitimate” Power