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Trump Agrees

The Wall Street Journal reports Trump Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President.

On a sound stage on a street in Caracas, facing thousands of antigovernment demonstrators, Mr. Guaidó took the oath of office, holding up his right hand while holding the constitution in his left hand. He did so on a national holiday that is considered historic in Venezuela: Sixty-one years ago, Marcos Perez Jimenez became the last dictator forced from office.

“Today, Jan. 23, 2019, in my capacity as president of the National Assembly, before God Almighty, Venezuela and my fellow deputies, I swear to formally assume the powers of the national executive as the president in charge of Venezuela,” Mr. Guaidó said.

The Trump administration had in recent days signaled strong support for Mr. Guaidó, who on Jan. 5 had been named by fellow lawmakers to head the National Assembly. On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence declared in a video in which he mixed English with Spanish that the U.S. would support Mr. Guaidó. “We stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored,” Mr. Pence said.

One active military officer said soldiers are suffering through the same scarcities as ordinary Venezuelans. The country has the world’s highest inflation, crime is rampant and academic surveys show many Venezuelans are unable to get enough to eat.

“A general earns $49 a month, a colonel $35, a captain $30, a lieutenant $25, a soldier, $8,” the officer said. “How can you maintain your family? They are part of a population that is hungry and also lacks medicines.”

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Venezuela Bonds Soar

Bloomberg notes Venezuela's Defaulted Bonds Soar as Anti-Maduro Protests Mount.

Venezuelan bond prices jumped to the highest in six months as large anti-government protests throughout the country spurred speculation that President Nicolas Maduro’s regime could be coming closer to an end.

As Venezuelans took to the streets, the country’s $4 billion of defaulted notes due in 2027 surged 2.4 cents to 30.7 cents on the dollar, the highest price since June. Other overseas notes from the government and state-owned oil company joined along in a broad rally.

Creditors have been stuck in limbo since November 2017, when Maduro announced he would suspend debt payments amid an economic crisis, while U.S. sanctions prevented any sort of renegotiation that would pave the way for payments to resume.

Opposition Bounce

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It's interesting to see the word "soar" in reaction to a move from 29 cents on the dollar to 31 cents on the dollar.

The world awaits the response from Venezuela's military.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock