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January 27, 2019 1:50 pm

Israel Joins US, Latin American Countries in Recognizing ‘New Leadership of Venezuela’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido arrives to attend a holy mass in Caracas, Venezuela, January 27, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins.

Israel has officially recognized the Venezuelan opposition as the legitimate leadership of the strife-torn South American country.

“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America, and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a short video issued on Sunday.

According to Israel’s Channel 13, the Trump administration, which strongly supports opposition leader Juan Guaido against the left-wing regime led by Nicolas Maduro, has been pressuring Israel to recognize Guaido as president.

Israel was uncertain how to respond, however, due to the fear that the Maduro regime might retaliate against Venezuela’s Jewish community. Maduro, like his predecessor Hugo Chavez, is virulently anti-Israel and large numbers of Venezuelan Jews have emigrated to Israel and other South American countries under his rule. Approximately 6,000 remain in the country.

Venezuela’s economy has been in free-fall in recent years and massive demonstrations have taken place against the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies are blamed for the economic collapse. There have also been charges of fraudulent elections and suppression of opposition dissidents.

Guaido, head of the legislature, has been declared interim president and taken the oath of office as such, but Maduro has thus far refused to cede power.

A large number of countries have thrown their weight behind Guaido, including the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, Britain, and France, now joined by Israel.

View Netanyahu’s statement below:

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