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U.S. Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams says his history with Iran-Contra isn't an issue

Elliott Abrams, the newly appointed special envoy overseeing policy toward Venezuela, said that his entanglement in the Iran-Contra scandal is not an issue in his current position. Abrams pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress about secret efforts to aid the Nicaraguan rebels in 1991 but was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush the following year.

"I don't think it's an issue," Abrams told reporters Wednesday, adding that no one he had spoken to in the region believed it was a problem. "We are not focused on the events of the 1980s. We are focused on the events of 2019." Abrams was the deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration and an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration.

President Trump recognized the chief opposition leader in Venezuela, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, as the country's legitimate interim president last week. Guaidó, who leads the opposition-controlled national assembly, declared himself the country's acting president and denounced the repressive government of President Nicolás Maduro. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the U.S. supports the opposition and pledged $20 million in humanitarian aid.

Read entire article at CBS News