Guatemala City, Guatemala — Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei told reporters Monday he will not recognize Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. It is a diplomatic decision that is being adopted by other Central American nations this week and is one supported by U.S. foreign policy to recognize the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Giammattei will take office on Jan. 14, after winning the run-off election in August. He told reporters “it’s the right thing to do. There are other South American (governments) that will do the same.” He did not offer further details.

Moreover, Giammattei isn’t the only Central American nation to break off diplomatic ties with Maduro.

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele also said this week that his government will not recognize Maduro as legitimate leader of Venezuela. El Salvador removed Venezuelan diplomats from Venezuela recently and on Sunday Venezuela’s foreign ministry responded by expelling El Salvadorian diplomats.

U.S. officials have been working closely with both Guatemala and El Salvador on the crisis of Venezuela. Over the past year, the Venezuelan government \

According to Reuters, Bukele said Saturday that he would receive a new diplomatic corps representing Guaido, who presides over the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Guaido’s interim government is recognized by dozens of Western nations. Maduro’s hardline  government, sanctions and his ongoing battle to retain his presidency has left the majority of Venezuelan citizens living in destitute poverty.


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