Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, speaking in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Trish Regan, said he hopes the transition to democracy happens as soon as possible to end the country’s last chapter as a socialist state.
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“This is the last chapter of change, the last chapter of a nightmare for many citizens who were forced to migrate, that were forced to leave their country, or that lose their lives,” Guaidó said on Tuesday. “We’re waking up from that nightmare, and we’re waking up to dream of a prosperous Venezuela.”
Guaidó, 35, is the National Assembly leader who took an oath of office last week before a crowd of anti-government protesters holding their hands up during the symbolic swearing-in in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
“We’re waking up from that nightmare, and we’re waking up to dream of a prosperous Venezuela.”
The freedom fighter and engineer is aiming to lead his country to democracy amid massive protests by supporters of the disputed president Nicolás Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term three weeks ago.
“In Venezuela, we have movement for freedom, for democracy, that has taken years and sacrifice to build, and a majority through protests to win elections to align ourselves with the world that recognizes the fight for democracy in Venezuela,” Guaidó said on “Trish Regan Primetime.”
The United States and much of the rest of the free world recognizes Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, while Russia, China and others are sticking with Maduro.
President Trump has vowed to use the “full weight” of America’s power to help the poverty-stricken country go from a socialist state to a genuinely democratic Venezuela.
“All options are on the table. We want to help the people of Venezuela,” Trump told Trish Regan on Tuesday.
Guaidó said U.S. support behind the Venezuelan opposition has been instrumental to the Latin American country’s democratic process.
“The pressure that’s been exercised supporting our democratic cause by the United States, Europe and Canada has been fundamental throughout this process,” he said.
Maduro is still clinging to power and has broken diplomatic ties with the U.S. government. Once Maduro is out of power, Guaidó said, Venezuela will have the opportunity to hold free elections which will give stability to the country.
“There will be elections so that is crucial,” he said. "Article 133 of our constitution mandates that the president of the National Assembly will take on the executive powers to call elections in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Guaidó said the Maduro regime has posed a threat not only to his family, but also to all the anti-government protesters.
“They have threatened my physical integrity, my families, and unfortunately, I’m not the only one. There’s over 300 political prisoners,” he said. “Despite threats towards our integrity and our families, we remain cohesive and mobilized and united because this is our goal – to rebuild Venezuela.”
Under the rule of Maduro, Guaidó said, the people of Venezuela continue to starve and are deprived of basic life essentials such as food and medicine.
“Venezuelans live on 3 dollars a month. That’s a tragedy. That is impossible to survive under these conditions. That’s the priority, that emergency,” he said.
Guaidó said Venezuelans are focused toward a democratic government that its citizens had taken for granted.
“We took it for granted in Venezuela and unfortunately, we lost it. Now, we are in the process of recovering it,” he said.