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Venezuela's National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó and President Trump. Photos: Federico Parra, Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Venezuela has entered an uncertain new phase, with President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joining 7 South American countries in endorsing regime change vs. Nicolás Maduro.

Maduro responded Wednesday by cutting off relations with the U.S. and giving American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. On Wednesday evening, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement saying that the U.S. "does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata."

Flashback: "The regional Organization of American States ... said [earlier this month that] its member nations voted 19-6, with eight abstentions, to not recognize the legitimacy of Maduro's government," per CNN.

Maduro's response: “I am the only president of Venezuela. ... We do not want to return to the twentieth century of gringo interventions and coups d’etats." (NYT, citing Venezuelan news outlet Diario La Verdad)

More from the White House:

  • A senior administration official told reporters: “If Maduro and his cronies choose to respond with violence ... all options are on the table for the U.S. in regard to actions that can be taken, both diplomatic and economic.”

The big picture: Latin America is shifting to the right, as Axios' Dave Lawler and Jonathan Swan noted earlier today.

  • Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Chile have all recognized Guaidó as Venezuela's new president.
  • Right-wing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos that his election and those of like-minded leaders were a sign that “left-wing ideology will not prevail in the region.”
  • Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez was more direct, saying: “Anything that will help liberate Venezuela has our support,” including recognizing Guaidó as president.

Between the lines: Markets are loving the news, Axios' Dion Rabouin reports.

  • "The country’s sovereign bond maturing in 2027 rallied to its highest level since June. That’s notable considering that the 2027 bond, and all but one of Venezuela’s other bonds, have been in default since November 2017. U.S. economic sanctions make it impermissible for the country to pay or for investors to collect.
  • “There’s a tremendous rally happening with expectation that regime change leads to eventual restructuring of these bonds,” said a fund manager from a major firm who asked not to be identified because he’s not permitted to discuss Venezuela’s debt.
  • “The market is pricing in Maduro’s exit as closer than we previously thought.”

Go deeper: Photos from the scene in Venezuela

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.