US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated the false claim that US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido is the ‘duly elected leader’ of Venezuela. Apparently he reads CNN.
Speaking in London after his meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Pompeo told reporters that Venezuelans had chosen Guaido to lead them.
“The Venezuelan people have spoken through through constitutional mechanism, they have put Juan Guaido as their interim president, and he is the duly elected leader there,” Pompeo said, adding that “Maduro is on borrowed time.”
Not only did Guiado not win the presidential election in May 2018, he didn’t even run; the opposition boycotted the race. On the basis of a legal technicality, Guaido declared himself “interim president” in January, and was recognized by a number of countries, including the US and many of its allies.
In a recently corrected story, CNN also said Guaido had won an election, but claimed it was in January. There was no election in January, at least not in Venezuela.
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Pompeo at the same presser also lectured leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn, who refused to take up the hostile US State Department line on Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
“It is disgusting to see leaders in not only the United Kingdom, but in the United states as well, who continue to support the murderous dictator Maduro,” Pompeo replied, adding that “no leader in a country with Western democratic values ought to stand behind” Maduro.
The Guaido-led opposition attempted a military coup in late April, but failed to inspire mass defections from the security forces. The uprising fizzled out within 36 hours.