The Venezuelan Parliament, with its overwhelming opposition majority, on Tuesday authorized the appointment of the diplomatic officials proposed by the institution's chief and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, to represent the new government in 10 countries in the Americas.
Guaido sent a communication to the National Assembly in which he designates representatives to Argentina, the United States, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and the Lima Group, and those officials were approved "unanimously," according to the Legislative Secretariat.
Named as Venezuela's diplomatic representative to Argentina was Elisa Trota Gamos; to the US, Carlos Vecchio; to Canada, Orlando Viera; along with Guarequena Gutierrez to Chile; Humberto Calderon to Colombia; Maria Faria to Costa Rica; Rene de Sola Quintero to Ecuador and Claudio Sandoval to Honduras.
Also designated to represent Caracas were Carlos Scull in Peru and lawmaker Julio Borges to be the envoy to the Lima Group, comprised of 14 countries in the region.
Two of the nominees, Vecchio and Borges, are influential opposition leaders who have pushed for international pressure to be brought to bear against President Nicolas Maduro, who the opposition says has "usurped" the presidency, given that his opponents do not recognize his reelection last May, contending that the vote was illegitimate.
Given this situation, on Jan. 23, a few days after Maduro was sworn in for his second term in office, Guaido proclaimed himself interim president.
The anti-Chavista forces say that with Maduro's reelection being illegitimate, the presidency devolves onto the head of Parliament until new elections can be held, according to the opposition's interpretation of Articles 233, 333 and 350 of Venezuela's Constitution.
At least 30 countries, including all the ones to which diplomats were appointed on Tuesday, as well as Australia, have recognized Guaido as the country's interim president.
The United States was the first nation to recognize Guaido as president - and in fact he did not proclaim himself interim president until after he had received Washington's assurance of support - followed by a number of countries in the Western Hemisphere.