By Lokman Ilhan
CARACAS, Venezuela (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump voiced support for Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido during a telephone call Wednesday.
In a Twitter post, Guaido said Trump reaffirmed his support for "our democratic work, commitment to humanitarian aid and recognition of his administration to our presidency".
Last week, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself president, a move immediately supported by Trump, Canada and most Latin American nations.
President Nicolas Maduro quickly shot back, cutting off diplomatic relations with Washington and accusing the U.S. of orchestrating a coup against his government.
During their telephone call Trump congratulated Guaido "on his historic assumption of the presidency," and reinforced his "strong support for Venezuela’s fight to regain its democracy," the White House said in a readout of the call.
"Interim President Guaido thanked President Trump for the United States’ commitment to freedom and prosperity in Venezuela and the region, and noted the importance of the large protests across Venezuela against former dictator Maduro, set to occur today and Saturday," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
She said Guaido and Trump agreed to maintain regular contact going forward.
The Trump administration continued to apply pressure on Maduro's government, imposing sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil and natural gas company that have effectively halted Venezuelan crude exports to the U.S.
*Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington