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Trump talks to Venezuela’s Guaidó

President Donald Trump spoke briefly with the United States’ preferred leader of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, to pledge support for “Venezuela’s fight to regain its democracy.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump spoke to Guaidó, who the United States has recognized as Venezuela’s interim president, to congratulate him on his “historic assumption of the presidency” and to reinforce support.

“They agreed to maintain regular communication to support Venezuela’s path back to stability, and to rebuild the bilateral relationship between the United States and Venezuela,” Sanders said.

The Trump administration is backing the Guaidó leadership to take control of Venezuela away from Nicolás Maduro amid a worsening economic and humanitarian crisis.

Guaidó thanked Trump for the U.S. commitment and noted the importance of large anti-Maduro protests planned for Wednesday and over the weekend across Venezuela, according to Sanders.

After speaking with the United States president, Guaidó thanked Trump by tweet for his “complete backing” of their fight for democracy.

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence welcomed Guaido’s top diplomat to the White House Tuesday.

Franco Ordoñez is a White House correspondent for the McClatchy Washington Bureau with a focus on immigration and foreign affairs. He previously covered Latin American affairs for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. He moved to Washington in 2011 after six years at the Charlotte Observer covering immigration and working on investigative projects for The Charlotte Observer.