Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido waves as he is acknowledged by U.S. President Donald Trump during his the State of the Union address, at the Capitol, in Washington, on Feb. 4, 2020.


Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Wednesday scored a long-sought meeting with President Donald Trump, a high point on an international tour aimed at bolstering support for Guaido’s U.S.-backed campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

But Guaido left the White House without the one thing coveted by every leader who visits: an Oval Office photo opportunity with the American President.

Soldiers lined the White House driveway as Guaido arrived for the afternoon meeting. Trump stepped onto a red carpet and into a damp chill to welcome Guaido and escort him to the Oval Office for a private meeting after a stroll along the colonnade. Guaido sported a red tie, just like Trump.

Story continues below advertisement

A day earlier, Guaido was a guest at Trump’s State of the Union address. Lawmakers applauded as Trump introduced Guaido as Venezuela’s “true and legitimate” leader and called Maduro a “tyrant.”

The White House said Guaido’s visit was an “opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the people of Venezuela.” The leaders were to discuss how the U.S. can work with Guaido to “expedite a democratic transition in Venezuela that will end the ongoing crisis.”

Vice-President Mike Pence and Guaido met at the Capitol before Pence left on a trip to Pennsylvania. Also attending were Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Florida Republicans.

The U.S. and nearly 60 other governments say Maduro’s 2018 election was illegitimate and that Guaido, as leader of the country’s National Assembly, should be named interim president under Venezuela’s constitution. These countries blame Maduro’s socialist policies for a political and economic crisis threatening regional stability.

Maduro, however, remains in control, having faced down a failed military uprising, a brief renewal of mass anti-government protests, and sanctions and other U.S. efforts to force him to leave office.

Guaido slipped out of Venezuela at a time when he had few options left and was struggling to draw significant numbers of people into the street to protest against Maduro.

Guaido’s momentum saw a slight upturn in early January, when he was seen in widely published images tussling with armed riot police while attempting to jump a fence and enter the National Assembly legislative building.

Story continues below advertisement

“Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland,” Trump told Guaido during Tuesday’s speech. “All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

The White House said the U.S. will continue to work with countries in the region to “confront the illegitimate dictatorship in Venezuela” and ensure a “democratic and prosperous” future for its people.

Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, called on Russia, China and Cuba to end their support for Maduro. O’Brien said Maduro lacks his people’s support and is “exercising tyranny” over them.

“We call on the Chinese, the Russians and the Cubans to knock it off and to get out of Venezuela and let the Venezuelans control their own destiny,” O’Brien said Wednesday to a group of ambassadors to the U.S.

Venezuela has been a priority in Latin America for the Trump administration, which a year ago was the first among a coalition of governments to recognize Guaido as president.

The administration has undertaken what it describes as a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions and other measures designed to hasten Maduro’s departure from office, but he has remained.

Story continues below advertisement

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., criticized Trump’s approach, saying on Twitter that Trump’s view that Maduro would back down after the U.S. recognized Guaido as the country’s leader “was an idea, not a strategy, and it had no hope of working.”

Russia has a political, military and economic alliance with Venezuela that was forged under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez. Venezuela is struggling to pay back billions of dollars in loans from Russia – about half owed to Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft.

O’Brien said the Trump administration would consider during the next several weeks whether to impose U.S. penalties on Rosneft for helping provide a monetary lifeline to Maduro.

Guaido’s attendance at Tuesday’s speech came as a surprise as he has sought for some time to secure a meeting with Trump, his most important international ally.

Guaido visited Miami on Saturday, not far from where Trump spent the weekend at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, but the leaders did not meet then. Guaido has been on a two-week world tour that took him first to Colombia, then across Europe and Canada, where he sought more international help to oust Maduro.

The Venezuelan government early last year banned Guaido from leaving the country after he fell under investigation, accused of violating the constitution by challenging Maduro. This is the second time he’s disobeyed the ban, both times leaving to rally international support at the risk of arrest upon his return.

Story continues below advertisement

The administration on Wednesday promised “very significant consequences” for Maduro if he interferes or harms Guaido when he returns to Venezuela.

The White House had said earlier Wednesday that the news media would be allowed into the top of the Oval Office visit, but it abruptly shifted course and barred reporters.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies