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Florida pols react after U.S. recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as rightful president

Several South Florida lawmakers urged President Trump to act.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. will recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s Interim President.

The move brings into focus a high-stakes battle for power within the troubled country.

Several South Florida lawmakers have urged Trump to back Guaidó amid concerns that last year’s re-election of Nicolás Maduro was tainted by corruption.

Guaidó, the leader of the country’s National Assembly, declared Wednesday that he is the legitimate President of Venezuela. That announcement was followed by a statement from Trump where he echoed Guaidó’s comments.

“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” Trump wrote.

“We encourage other Western Hemisphere governments to recognize National Assembly President Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela.”

Last week, state Sen. Annette Taddeo called on the Florida delegation in Congress to push Trump to formally back Guaidó. The move builds off of comments from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where he declared the Maduro government illegitimate.

Many of those lawmakers have signaled their support for a rebuke against the Maduro government. On Wednesday, several of Florida’s state and congressional legislators took to Twitter to endorse Trump’s decision to support Guaidó.

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Image via The Associated Press

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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