President Donald Trump officially recognized Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president on Wednesday after Guaidó declared himself the country's leader amid cheers from thousands who were protesting in the streets of the capital, Caracas.
"In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolás Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant," said Trump in a statement. "The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law."
In response, Maduro declared on live television that he is breaking relations with the United States, and gave diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave the country.
Guaidó, 35, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president as hundreds of thousands marched in Caracas demanding an end to Maduro's government.
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