US recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as interim president

US recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as interim president, by Mariana Zuniga.

President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday faced the gravest challenge to his authority as the leader of the U.S.-backed opposition claimed the legitimate mantle of leadership, and President Trump and other world leaders promptly recognized him as Venezuela’s interim and rightful head of state. …

Juan Guaido, the opposition leader now recognized by Washington as Venezuela’s true interim ruler, called on any diplomats expelled by Maduro to remain.

A senior Trump administration official told reporters that Washington is not rejecting any options, whether political, economic or even military.

“When we say all options are on the table, it means all options,” the official said.

Later, Trump was pointedly asked whether military force was being considered.

“We’re not considering anything, but all options on the table,” he said. “All options, always, all options are on the table.”

As the international campaign against him grew, Maduro, the anointed successor of socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, was confronting a new protagonist in the form of Guaido. Before a cheering throng, the 35-year-old industrial engineer and recently named head of the country’s National Assembly, took the long-awaited step of declaring himself the nation’s “president in charge.”

“We will stay on the street until Venezuela is liberated!” Guaido told the crowd in Caracas.

The Venezuelan debacle ultimately arose because an elite ran the country, squeezing out everyone else from power. That created a large disenfranchised, competent, middle. It also prompted a revolt, led by socialists who promised everything to everyone. But when the socialists got into power, as usual it just ended up in shambles and a failed economy

Looks like it’s soon going to be time to start over. But this time, hopefully, the Venezuelan political class will share power instead of hogging all the goodies.

Do you suppose there might be a lesson in there for Western elites?