On behalf of the United States, I congratulate Juan Guaido on his re-election as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and condemn the failed efforts of the former Maduro regime to negate the will of the democratically elected National Assembly.
For months corrupt regime officials have engaged in an unlawful, violent, and despicable campaign of arrests, intimidation, and bribery to destroy the last democratic institution in Venezuela, the National Assembly, and to prevent elected members of the National Assembly from casting their votes freely and in accordance with the views of their constituents. Today, when the former Maduro regime realized the undemocratic campaign of bribery and intimidation failed to secure enough support in the National Assembly, they forcibly denied access to Juan Guaido and his supporters. Without the necessary deputies present to constitute a quorum as required by the constitution, they held a farcical ‘vote’ and announced the result. Without a majority of deputies present, as is constitutionally mandated, there can be no legal vote. Maduro continues to ignore the constitution and will of the Venezuelan people.
Venezuela’s political parties came together in a resounding display of unity to support Juan Guaido’s re-election. Together, they provided Guaido with a clear margin of victory. The United States and 57 other countries continue to regard him as the legitimate leader of the National Assembly and thus the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. Juan Guaido personifies the Venezuelan people’s struggle to reclaim the prosperity and democracy they once enjoyed. No regime thugs, no jail cells, and no bribery or intimidation can subvert the will of the Venezuelan people.
The United States and democratic allies throughout the world remain committed to the Venezuelan people and their effort to end the brutal and inept dictatorship under which they live. The repression and poverty of Venezuela, which has already forced more than 15 percent of the population to flee the country, will begin to end only when democracy fully returns. We look forward to that day and recommit ourselves to supporting Interim President Guaido, the National Assembly, and free and fair elections.