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A Venezuelan Exile Is Top Diplomat for Guaidó's Government in the U.S.

February 08, 2019

For the past four years, Carlos Vecchio was a fixture at Venezuelan restaurants in Doral, standing beside lawmakers and community leaders as they railed against Nicolás Maduro’s consolidation of power.

Now, the 49-year-old politician who chose to live in what some call “Doralzuela” after being exiled in 2014 is taking on a much bigger role: chief diplomat in the U.S. for Juan Guaidó’s transitional government...

Vecchio was in the audience as Rubio’s guest for Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. The president said, “We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom,” but didn’t talk specifics about how to aid Guaidó’s government.

Lawmakers and advocates who have worked with Guaidó say he’s an effective leader. He can communicate in English and knows the ins and outs of U.S. politics. During his time in Venezuela, he was a consensus builder among the often-fractured opposition to Maduro, according to Guillermo Zubillaga, head of the Venezuelan working group at the Council of the Americas.

“He’s always been an agent of unity in the opposition,” Zubillaga said. “I’m sure Carlos is perfectly suited to be a diplomat.”...

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