The long-awaited meeting between the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, finally took place, a meeting that raises expectations regarding the strategy needed to achieve the fall of Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship.
— Centro de Comunicación Nacional (@Presidencia_VE) February 5, 2020
On Wednesday, February 5, the U.S. president received Guaidó with presidential honors at the White House. The meeting took place in the Oval Office, where, for the first time, the Venezuelan leader got the opportunity to personally ask for the help required to oust the dictatorship. Guaidó also got the chance to thank the U.S. president for his efforts against the regime.
The meeting was held behind closed doors, and there was no subsequent press conference, so it was clear that the issues discussed were strictly confidential between the two governments.
— David Alandete (@alandete) February 5, 2020
Guaidó began an international tour two weeks ago, starting in Colombia and continuing in Europe, Canada, and the United States. However, until the last moment, expectations were building up as to whether or not there would be a meeting with President Trump.
El presidente interino de Venezuela @jguaido fue recibido con honores de Jefe de Estado por el presidente Donald Trump en la Casa Blanca.
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) February 5, 2020
Opposition leaders and journalists in Venezuela have celebrated the meeting because the United States is the main ally of democracy in the South American country.
Besides the meeting between the two presidents, Guaidó also met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Capitol Hill early in the day. According to official reports, “they discussed issues such as the development of measures to achieve freedom in Venezuela” and also mentioned “free and fair presidential elections.”
Republican Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio were present, as well as the Presidential Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Julio Borges, and the Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Vecchio.
Sostuvimos un encuentro con el @VP de los Estados Unidos, Mike Pence. Mantenemos la unión y el trabajo conjunto por la Libertad de Venezuela. Agradecemos la lucha firme y clara del Gobierno estadounidense junto al pueblo venezolano y nuestra región. #AgendaInternacionalWashington pic.twitter.com/oLntd4mCV0
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 5, 2020
The United States government has issued the most sanctions against Chavismo because of its constant violations of human rights and because of the corruption spearheaded by Maduro. It has sanctioned more than 100 Chavista officials; it established an oil embargo by cutting off Maduro’s income; its justice system has investigated and condemned cases of drug trafficking and money laundering from the state oil company PDVSA, and the U.S. Senate is proposing a law to put even more pressure on the regime. Furthermore, the U.S. has agreed to allow Guaidó to take control of Citgo, Venezuela’s biggest asset abroad.
It is unclear when Guaidó will return to the country and what will be the strategy to fight against the dictatorship in Venezuela, which in his absence has started a campaign to carry out fraudulent elections with a National Electoral Council at its convenience and a parallel and illegitimate National Assembly that seeks to remove the legitimate interim president from power.
The tyrannical regime will be “smashed”
U.S. President Donald Trump had very harsh words for Venezuela’s dictatorship in his annual State of the Union address. He met with interim president Juan Guaidó for the first time and signaled to the world that the regime “will be smashed and broken.”
“The grip of Maduro’s tyranny will be smashed and broken,” said the U.S. president, who pointed out that his government leads a coalition of countries that recognize Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
“The U.S. is leading a 59 nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people, but Maduro’s grip on tyranny will be smashed and broken,” he said.