The U.S. confirmed support for Guaido and the current National Assembly

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The U.S. confirmed support for Guaido and the current National Assembly

The Treasury Department issued a new license for transactions with the Venezuelan opposition leader

The U.S. Treasury Department issued on Monday a new authorization allowing certain transactions with the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, in spite of the sanctions against the country. The move confirms that Washington considers the politician a legitimate leader of Venezuela.

The license replaces the one issued earlier and also allows certain transactions with the National Assembly of Venezuela and a number of others, thus effectively recognizing the extension of the term of the current National Assembly with the opposition majority.

The term was extended for a year after the opposition boycotted the December 6 parliamentary elections, which were won by President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party. The opposition and most Western democracies said the elections were neither free nor fair. Last week, Venezuela’s Supreme Court invalidated the decision to extend the term of the National Assembly, giving Maduro’s allies the opportunity to take control of the legislature.

In January 2019, Washington recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and tightened sanctions and diplomatic pressure on the country following Maduro’s re-election in the 2018 elections, which many calls rigged.

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Maduro remains in power with the support of the Venezuelan military, as well as Russia, China, and Cuba.

The decision by the U.S. and other countries to recognize Guaido as interim president stems from the fact that he is the speaker of the National Assembly. In 2019, the opposition leader declared himself interim president, citing the constitution and claiming Maduro had usurped the office and rigged his re-election.

The Ministry of Finance license notes that transactions involving Maduro’s convened National Constitutional Assembly or the new National Assembly, which will be sworn on Tuesday, are not permitted.