Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido to meet Trump at White House

SPH Brightcove Video
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to the White House, the day after Trump used a national address to support Guaido's effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido waves after being acknowledged by Trump as he delivers the State of the Union address. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido will meet with Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday (Feb 5), a further signal of renewed support from the US president for his bid to depose the country's authoritarian president, Nicolas Maduro.

Guaido was a surprise White House guest at Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday, where the president called him Venezuela's "legitimate president."

Trump's public embrace of Guaido suggests the president still sees him as the best chance to replace Maduro, despite scepticism he's voiced in recent months to aides.

"Maduro's grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken," Trump said in his speech on Tuesday. "All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom."

After attending the State of the Union, Guaido thanked the US for its commitment and support for Venezuela's freedom.

"We are united, President Donald Trump. On behalf of millions of Venezuelans who continue to stand and fight: Thank you, people of the USA," Guaido tweeted.

Guaido also met with with Vice-President Mike Pence at the US Capitol this morning, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter.

His visit to Washington capped a world tour in which he visited world leaders in Europe and Canada in hopes of rallying new momentum for his cause after an attempted uprising against Maduro failed last year.

Though nearly 60 countries have recognised Guaido as the leader of Venezuela, he has made little progress in actually unseating the deeply entrenched Maduro regime.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.