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Venezuelan Opposition Leader Guaido Invited to Trump Speech

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido listens as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 4, 2020.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized as the country's interim president by the United States, was guest at Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday, U.S. media reported.

Guaido was invited by Trump to attend the flagship event in Washington in a public show of support for his efforts to dislodge President Nicolas Maduro, CNN and NBC reported.

Guaido has defied a travel ban to leave Venezuela and meet with officials abroad as he struggles to maintain momentum in his year-long campaign to oust Maduro.

The U.S. quickly recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela after he invoked constitutional powers and named himself interim president in January 2019. More than 50 other countries have also recognized Guaido.

Maduro won a new term in 2018 elections that were widely criticized internationally as fraudulent.

Trump's choice of guests for the annual speech to Congress are carefully chosen.

Trump also invited a senior border patrol officer, a woman whose brother was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2018, and former Caracas police chief Ivan Simonovis who spent years in jail under Venezuela's far-left government.