Venezuela opposition wife at White House after summit sidelining

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The wife of Venezuela's opposition leader met at the White House on Thursday with President Joe Biden, after he declined to invite him to an Americas summit.

Fabiana Rosales, the wife of Juan Guaido, posted pictures of herself meeting both Biden and First Lady Jill Biden and said she "spoke out for all Venezuelans."

She spoke to the Bidens about "the defense of human rights, protection of migrants, freedom for political prisoners and the need to hold a free and fair election in Venezuela," said a statement from her office.

Jill Biden on Twitter called Rosales "a courageous First Lady and mother fighting for a better future for all Venezuelans."

The invitation came two weeks after President Biden welcomed the hemisphere's leaders to Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas but did not invite Guaido, although he spoke to him by telephone.

The United States considers Guaido to be the interim president of Venezuela after Nicolas Maduro was declared the winner of a 2019 election marred by widespread allegations of irregularities.

But Maduro has managed to hold on to power even with a collapsing economy that has caused millions to flee Venezuela.

The United States has faced rising calls in the region to change a strategy set by former president Donald Trump that sought to topple Maduro through sweeping sanctions.

The White House said it did not invite Guaido as it wanted to encourage a resumption of dialogue between the opposition and Maduro.

The United States also faced concerns that a number of nations, including in the Caribbean, would not attend if Guaido were invited to represent Venezuela.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ultimately boycotted the Summit of the Americas citing Biden's refusal to invite Maduro and the presidents of Cuba and Nicaragua on the grounds that the three leftists are authoritarians.

sct/dw

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