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Soon, the days of Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, were numbered.
The authoritarian leader oversaw the worst recession in his country’s history and faced tough U.S. sanctions targeting a vital oil industry. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country due to chronic food shortages.
Juan Guaidó, the leader of the opposition in the United States and more than 50 other nations, the president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, has been recognized as the legitimate head of the Venezuelan state on the grounds that they believe Maduro forged in 2018. Elections.
Month of January. Guaidó was a guest of honor at President Trump’s report on the state of the Union. “There is a very brave man here tonight who carries with him all the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Venezuela,” Trump said of Guaidó, who had received a standing ovation.
However, these hopes and dreams have not yet come true.
Maduro remains armored in the presidential palace and controls the country. The Venezuelan military has ignored Guaidó’s calls for an uprising and, despite some setbacks, continues to provide decisive support to Maduro. Anti-government protests took place.
According to Caracas-based Datanalisis, support for Guaidó polls fell from more than 60% in 2019. February. Up to 25.5% in May. The survey published Maduro’s May approval rating at around 13%.
The political opposition is divided between moderates who support the negotiations and constipated individuals who encouraged military action to oust Maduro.
This more belligerent strategy was rejected in May when a small invasion of about 60 exiled Venezuelan soldiers and two American mercenaries landed on Venezuela’s Caribbean coast near Caracas. The Venezuelan army, loyal to Maduro, quickly caught or killed them.
“So we are very sad. The situation is very, very difficult at the moment,” says Ángel Alvarado, the legislature of the opposition “First Party Party”.
What’s worse, he said, is that the Maduro government last month replaced the leaders of the three main opposition parties with government-friendly politicians in a legal maneuver. The affected countries are Justice First and Popular Will, led by Guaidó and former political prisoner Leopoldo López. Alvarado claims that these new party bosses were paid to change half.
All of this came after years of government attacks on the opposition.
According to Alvarado, five opposition lawmakers have been imprisoned for the charges, including Juan Requesens, the first justice legislature, who was arrested last year for the 2018 law. An explosive-armed drone in an attempt to kill Madura. He said another 20 opposition lawmakers were living in exile and five more went underground to escape arrest.
“First they persecute our party leadership. Then they try to divide us. Then they replace our party leadership with new ones who get Maduro’s money,” Alarado says in a telephone interview from Caracas.
The Venezuelan government ignored the NPR’s requests for comment.
Geoff Ramsey, who is monitoring Venezuela for his Washington office in Latin America, believes that instead of turning Venezuela into a one-party state, Maduro seeks to ruin opposition parties but allow them to survive.
“Finally, it is good for the regime to point out the presence of opposition politicians in Venezuela, because that allows them to say that they live in a democracy,” Ramsey says.
In addition to the National Assembly, the ruling Socialists control every body of the Venezuelan government, including the Electoral Board that Maduro and his allies formed last month. But now the major opposition parties tend to boycott this year’s law elections for fear of the election.
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In a Washington Diplomat newsletter held during the conference last week, Carlos Vecchio, the U.S. envoy to Guaidó, noted that in 2018. The presidential election, in which Maduro won a six-year term, was marred by irregularities. Referring to an upcoming congressional vote, he said: “Will these false elections solve Venezuela’s problem? No! It will deepen the crisis.”
However, if the opposition boycotts the vote – which the constitution must hold by the end of this year – Guaidó will no longer be the chairman of the legislature. He was appointed to this position last year and this is the basis for his claims to be the legitimate head of state of Venezuela.
Ramsey therefore says, “The international community will go to a crossroads where it will have to decide whether to continue to recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.”
Ramsey says the only way out of the Venezuelan crisis is to negotiate free and fair elections. However, several breakthroughs have not been achieved in several rounds of negotiations between the Norwegian government.
As a result, the opposition was so disappointed that the Guaidó bureau issued a statement questioning the Norwegian envoys’ decision to return to Caracas this week to continue further talks.
According to Caracas political analyst Dimitris Pantoulas, such rudeness on the Guaidó team can only strengthen Maduro’s government. “Is Norway the enemy?” he tweets. “It’s an extremely amateurish and childish attitude.”
Despite months of bad news, Guaidó put on a brave face and tried to mislead his followers after appearing publicly in Karaoke last month. He acknowledged that they were worn out and frustrated, but argued that one way or another the opposition would surpass Maduro.
“They are not going to defeat us,” Guaidó said. “We’re still here.”