(Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido named Harvard University economist Ricardo Hausmann as the country’s representative to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Guaido’s envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, wrote in a tweet on Monday.
Guaido, who calls socialist President Nicolas Maduro a usurper after Maduro won re-election in a May 2018 vote widely seen as fraudulent, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January. He has been recognized as the OPEC nation’s legitimate leader by most Western countries, including the United States.
Hausmann, an economics professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, served as Venezuela’s planning minister and as a member of the board of the country’s central bank in the 1990s. He has also served as the country’s governor for the IDB and World Bank, and was the IDB’s chief economist for several years.
Venezuela’s current IDB governor is Oswaldo Javier Perez Cuevas, an official in the country’s finance ministry, according to the IDB’s website. The Washington-based multilateral lender invests in infrastructure and other development projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Neither Hausmann nor a spokesman for the IDB immediately responded to a request for comment. A source close to the Venezuelan opposition said Hausmann’s appointment still had to be confirmed by the country’s National Assembly, which is currently led by Guaido.
Additional reporting by Mayela Armas in Caracas; editing by Jonathan Oatis