Donald Trump waving and Juan Guaidó giving thumbs-up gesture just outside White House doors (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)
President Trump and Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaidó appear outside the White House before their Oval Office meeting. (© Evan Vucci/AP Images)

During his third annual State of the Union address, President Trump expressed his support of Venezuela’s legitimate interim president, Juan Guaidó, and the U.S. commitment to a free and democratic Western Hemisphere.

Guaidó, Trump said, is “a very brave man who carries with him the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all Venezuelans.” Trump added that “all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

Guaidó was present at the State of the Union address and received a standing ovation from the entire chamber of the House of Representatives.

Photo of Juan Guaidó waving as an audience member, with overlaid Trump quote (© Patrick Semansky/AP Images)The U.S. is not alone in its support. Close to 60 nations recognize Guaidó as the interim president and oppose the former Maduro regime’s human rights abuses.

In the last two weeks, Guaidó has met with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo in Colombia, European Union leaders at the World Economic Forum, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

Juan Guaidó in middle of large crowd inside a building, with many hands raised taking cellphone photos (© Gaston De Cardenas/AP Images)
Supporters gather around Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó at a rally in Miami. (© Gaston De Cardenas/AP Images)

In the United States, Guaidó rallied thousands of supporters in Miami on February 1 before heading to Washington to attend the State of the Union address.

Guaidó met with Trump on February 5, the day following the address, at the White House. The two discussed advancing democracy in Venezuela and U.S. support for the Venezuelan people.

Juan Guaidó shaking hands with Mike Pompeo in a State Department room (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)
Juan Guaidó meets with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo at the State Department on February 6. (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)

In a meeting with Pompeo at the State Department on February 6, Guaidó discussed the importance of ensuring free and fair elections in Venezuela.

Since 2017, the U.S. has given over $656 million in aid to Venezuelans, according to a State Department fact sheet. President Trump stressed that the U.S. will continue to support the hopes of Venezuelans to restore democracy, and Maduro’s dictatorship will end.

“Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people,” Trump said during his State of the Union address. “But Maduro’s grip on tyranny will be smashed and broken.”