Guaidó gets standing ovation after Trump touts him as ‘true and legitimate’ Venezuelan leader

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó received a bipartisan, minute-long standing ovation from attendees at the State of the Union on Tuesday night after President Trump introduced him as the “true and legitimate” leader of his country.

“Here this evening is a man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans. Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó,” said Trump.

The United States and 58 other countries recognize Guaidó as Venezuela’s president, although he’s been unable to wrest power from the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

Trump, whose administration has consistently ratcheted up sanctions on Maduro’s government, said the Venezuelan ruler’s “grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken.” He then introduced Guaidó, who received a standing ovation.

“Mr. President, please take this message back that all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” said Trump, as Guaidó stood in the gallery.

Guaidó then received a second ovation.

“Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul,” Trump said, before discussing military spending.

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