The Biden administration will continue recognizing Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela despite the fact that Nicolas Maduro holds the office. State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed the policy on Wednesday and ruled out the possibility of talks with Maduro.
Price’s comments suggest that President Biden will keep in place the crippling economic sanctions that the Trump administration left on Venezuela, which have had a devastating impact on the civilian population.
Price said the new administration’s goal is to “support a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela,” but the policy is really a continuation of Trump’s failed regime change effort.
The US and many of its allies first recognized Guaido as the president of Venezuela in January 2019. After a failed coup attempt, increased sanctions, millions of US taxpayer dollars, and a $15 million bounty on Maduro, nothing has changed in Caracas.
Even supporters of regime change no longer see Guaido as a viable candidate to take over Venezuela. After he lost his seat in Venezuela’s National Assembly in recent elections, the EU stopped recognizing Guaido as president.
After President Biden’s inauguration, Maduro said he was hoping relations with the US would improve and called on Venezuela’s National Assembly to “take initiatives” for a “new beginning” with Washington.