US Recognizes Opposition Leader As Venezuela President, Weighs Oil Sanctions

The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Jan. 23, announcing U.S. recognition of the country’s opposition leader as interim president and signaling potential new sanctions against its vital oil sector.

With street protests against Maduro underway across Venezuela, Trump said the United States recognized Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled Congress, as the country’s leader and called socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s government “illegitimate.”

“I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy,” Trump said in a statement.