Canada took a bold stance by recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
Canada is now among the many nations calling for the end of socialist president Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship.
“We recognize and express our full support for the interim presidency of Venezuela assumed by the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, in compliance with the constitution of Venezuela,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland.
The move came only a week after the tyrant, Nicolas Maduro, was sworn in for a second term as president in an election deemed fraudulent.
Canada’s announcement came on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s declaration that Venezuela’s socialist regime is illegitimate.
“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” Trump said in a statement.
The American support for Guaido has inspired many other nations to follow, including Canada and much of Latin America.
Venezuela’s socialist government has left the economy in turmoil, with GDP dropping dramatically and inflation hitting sky-high levels.
It is estimated that inflation in Venezuela went up 1.4 million per cent in 2018, and could reach 10 million per cent by 2020.
Because of a ruined economy and the imposition of dictatorship, as many as four million Venezuelans have fled — close to 10 per cent of the entire population.
Among those who have stayed, about 75% report losing as much as 19 pounds due to food shortages.
Police violence is now a regular occurrence in Venezuela, with dozens killed while protesting the government.
The future is not certain for Venezuela — while Juan Guaido is attempting to form a government, Maduro remains defiant.
Maduro called the United States “imperialists” for trying to influence Venezuelan affairs.
“Don’t trust the gringos,” he told his supporters at a recent rally.
The United States is reportedly considering sanctions on Venezuelan oil.
The United States, Canada, and nine Latin American countries said in a joint statement they want to see the “democratic transition in Venezuela within the framework of its Constitution, in order to hold new elections, in the shortest time, with the participation of all political actors and with the international guarantees and standards necessary for a democratic process.”