Israel recognizes opposition chief as new Venezuelan president

Following President Trump's statement recognizing new Venezuelan interim president, Israel backs 'new leadership' of Juan Guaido.

David Rosenberg ,

Juan Guaido
Juan Guaido

Israel recognized on Sunday a Venezuelan opposition leader who has declared himself the new interim president of Venezuela.

“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America, and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela, Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday evening.

Juan Guaido, a member of the center-left Popular Will party and a federal deputy representing Venezuela’s Vargas State declared himself interim president on Wednesday, the latest escalation in an ongoing dispute over last May’s presidential election.

After incumbent president Nicolas Maduro was declared the winner, his two challengers refused to concede charging the government of fixing the results to ensure Maduro an additional term.

The contested election led to widespread refusal to recognize Maduro’s inauguration on January 10th .

Guaido, who serves as president of the National Assembly, called Maduro’s inauguration illegitimate, and declared himself interim president, citing Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, which requires the National Assembly president to assume the roles of the presidency in the event of a vacancy.

Last week, President Donald Trump recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

"I am officially recognizing the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela. In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant. The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law," Trump said in a statement.

Maduro has come under increasing pressure both from abroad and at home, as his country’s economic crisis continues amid concerns Venezuela is on the brink of becoming a failed state.