Biden reaffirms support for Venezuela opposition leader

President Joe Biden reaffirmed US support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in a letter Monday even in the midst of efforts to resume negotiations with President Nicolas Maduro’s government. “Under your leadership and in coalition with civil society leaders you are preserving those ideals of freedom democracy and sovereignty,” Biden wrote in a letter addressed to Guaido and sent through the Office of Venezuelan Affairs in neighboring Colombia, an official in that office told AFP.

The letter was sent on the occasion of the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence, on July 5, 1811. Biden said that Guaido is guiding his country “through a peaceful democratic transition of power.” Guaido is recognized by some 50 countries as Venezuela’s interim leader as head of the National Assembly after Maduro declared victory in 2018 elections widely decried as fraudulent.

The administration of former US president Donald Trump imposed severe financial sanctions on Venezuela and its national oil company PDVSA in an unsuccessful effort to oust the leftist as Venezuela has plunged deeper into political, economic and humanitarian crisis.