Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Trump, Pompeo back former student as acting Venezuelan president

Updated: Jan. 28, 2019 at 2:32 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed former student Juan Guaidó as the “interim president” of Venezuela this week.

Trump said in a statement Wednesday he will use the “full weight” of the United States’ power to restore Venezuela’s democracy as he recognized Guaidó as the country’s president. Pompeo then told the 15-member United Nations Security Council that it was time to “pick a side” on the unrest in Venezuela and urged leaders to support Guaidó, according to The New York Times.

University spokesman Jason Shevrin said Guaidó participated in a six-month, non-degree program managed by the Graduate School of Political Management that took place in Venezuela in partnership with a local university, Universidad Católica de Venezuela.

Guaidó declared himself the top national executive Wednesday in front of a crowd of protesters in Caracas shortly after the National Assembly invoked the constitution to deem Nicolas Maduro’s presidency illegitimate, according to The New York Times.

“Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” Pompeo said to the council Saturday. “We call on all members of the Security Council to support Venezuela’s democratic transition and interim President Guaidó’s role.”

The former student thanked supporters and international backers at a rally in Caracas, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“We are not going to permit more abuses and that they rob the money, food and medicines of Venezuelans,” Guaidó said.

Guaidó took over the National Assembly on Jan. 5 with the intention to replace leadership that has divided Venezuela.

Several other figures who led opposition efforts against Maduro have been jailed – joining the estimated 288 political prisoners currently being held in the country, according to the Penal Forum, a Venezuelan human rights organization.

“We continue to hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for any threats it may pose to the safety of Venezuelan people,” Trump said in the official release.

Maduro cut diplomatic ties with the United States shortly after Trump’s announcement, demanding that American diplomats leave Venezuela within 72 hours, according to The New York Times. Countries like Canada, Brazil, Columbia and Paraguay also threw support behind Guaidó.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Juan Guaidó is an alumnus due to misinformation reported by The New York Times. A university spokesman confirmed that Guaidó completed a non-degree program but did not graduate from GW. We regret this error.

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet