Working round-the-clock to strengthen new government in Venezuela, says White House

A day earlier, Trump had recognised Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

Published: 24th January 2019 11:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2019 11:21 PM   |  A+A-

White House

White House image used for representation. (Photo | AP)


WASHINGTON: The White House on Thursday said that the US is focussed on disconnecting the regime of hard-left President Nicolas Maduro from its revenue sources, a day after President Donald Trump recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.

"What we're focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the sources of its revenues. We think consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government," National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters at the White House.

A day earlier, Trump had recognised Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

Later, he told reporters that all options are on the table.

Describing Maduro as "illegitimate", Trump said the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, is "the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people."

Bolton did not elaborate on a question related to all option, if it means military option too.

"I think, that speaks for itself," he said, adding that Vice President Mike Pence has spoken with the new leader.

"Vice President spoke to him the evening before the recognition statement made by the president and others are speaking with him as well, through our embassy in Caracas," he said.

Responding to a question, Bolton said that it is a very complicated issue.

ALSO READ: Venezuela's Juan Guaido declares himself president amid protests

"We're looking at a lot of different things we have to do. But that's in process. We're speaking with governments in this hemisphere we are talking to our colleagues in Europe and elsewhere to demonstrate the widespread political support for the interim presidency and then we're moving to do everything we can to strengthen this new legitimate representative government," Bolton said.

The National Security Advisor said that the Trump Administration is working really round-the-clock to do what it can to strengthen the new government.

"US Embassy personnel in Venezuelan Capital of Caracas have been asked to stay there," he said, adding that their safety and security is of prime importance to the US.

Maduro regime on Wednesday announced that it is cutting off all relationship with the US and ordered its personnel to leave the country in 48 hours.

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna of the House Armed Services Committee and staunch voice for restraint in foreign policy, slammed the Trump Administration for its latest policy on Venezuela.

"The United States should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during internal, divided conflict," he said.

"There is no doubt the Maduro's economic policies have been terrible and he has engaged in financial mismanagement and also political authoritarianism.

But crippling sanctions and threats of military action are making life worse for ordinary Venezuelans, and the US stands alone in its decision to impose economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government," Khanna said.

Khanna said he plan to circulate a letter to his colleagues to the Trump Administration urging them to immediately change course in its policy toward Venezuela.


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