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Venezuela in Chaos: Juan Guaido Proclaims Himself Interim President, Military Backs Maduro

Venezuela in Chaos: Juan Guaido Proclaims Himself Interim President, Military Backs Maduro

America and Canada have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s new leader.

Venezuela’s downward spiral gained some speed on Wednesday after National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself as the interim president. He claimed it’s the only way “to rescue Venezuela from ‘dictatorship.'”

Guaido did this, even though Nicolas Maduro was sworn in a few weeks ago for another term, “after the Venezuelan National Assembly on Tuesday announced its takeover of the executive power.”

Who is Guaido?

Juan Guaido has come out of nowhere after he debuted as leader of the National Assembly and the opposition three weeks ago. He used this opportunity to come out against Maduro:

“The relationship between Venezuela and its state today is one of terror,” Mr. Guaidó said in an interview. “When this happens, the voices and hopes of the world, their messages, are the encouragement for the daily struggle to resist — to dream of democracy, and for a better country.”

From Euronews:

Calling on Venezuelans to protest, the body demanded the establishment of a “transitional government” to organise new elections.

Venezuelan opposition sympathisers had been urging Guaido to assume the presidency since Maduro was inaugurated for a second term earlier this month.

Guaido, 35, is a newcomer on the national scene who was elected to head Congress at the turn of the year.

He had previously said he was willing to replace Maduro if he had the support of the military, with the aim of then calling for free elections.

His declaration on Wednesday came amid mass street protests, with hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans taking to the streets in anti-Maduro demonstrations, demanding he step down.


Maduro’s reign has seen Venezuela fall deeper than a third world country. People have no food, jobs, medicine, etc.

The dictator is determined to keep the oil-rich country within his iron fist as he refuses to budge.

Nearly all of the South American countries have backed Guaido along with America and Canada:

In a seemingly coordinated action, the U.S. led a chorus of Western hemisphere nations, including Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, that immediately recognized Guaido, with President Donald Trump calling on Maduro to resign and promising to use the “full weight” of the U.S. economic and diplomatic power to push for the restoration of Venezuela’s democracy.

“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” Trump said in a statement.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt called Guaido “the right person” to lead the troubled country:

Jeremy Hunt said Thursday during a visit to Washington that the May 20 election in Venezuela was “deeply flawed” and said the regime led by President Nicholas Maduro has done “untold damage to the people of Venezuela.”

Hunt said it is clear that Maduro is not the “legitimate” leader of Venezuela. But the statement stops short of recognizing Guaido as president.

Hunt says he plans to discuss the matter with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Maduro responded by breaking diplomatic ties with America:

“Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president. …. I’ve decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government,” Maduro thundered while holding up a decree banning the diplomats before a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered at the presidential palace.

“Don’t trust the gringos,” he said, rattling off a long list of U.S.-backed military coups — Guatemala, Chile, Brazil — in decades past. “They don’t have friends or loyalties. They only have interests, guts and the ambition to take Venezuela’s oil, gas and gold.”

Maduro received support from the usual suspects: Palestinian Authority and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Maduro received support from the top people in the military:

A half-dozen generals belonging largely to district commands and with direct control over thousands of troops joined Maduro in accusing the United States of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs and said they would uphold the socialist leader’s rule.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, a key Maduro ally, later delivered his own proclamation, dismissing efforts to install a “de-facto parallel government” as tantamount to a coup.

“It’s not a war between Venezuelans that will solve our problems,” he said. “It’s dialogue.”

Guaido encouraged “foreign embassies to disavow Maduro’s orders and keep their diplomats in the country.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed and chose to ignore Maduro’s order.

Pompeo slammed Modero to members of the Organization of American States (OAS):

“We call on the OAS and all its member states to act on basic, decent democratic principles and the incontrovertible facts on the ground,” Pompeo said.

“His regime is morally bankrupt, it’s economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt,” he added about Maduro. “It is undemocratic to the core.”

Pompeo also said that the “United States is ready to send Venezuela food and medicine in response to requests from the opposition-controlled congress.” This includes “$20 million in humanitarian assistance.” Maduro has has long rejected any kind of aid as citizens starve to death in the streets.

Pompeo has asked for “an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council” to discuss Venezuela. If this happens, it will occur on Saturday morning if nine of the 15 countries on the council agree.


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Declaring yourself President without the backing of the military is either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. Which one it is will be decided based on who is in charge of the Country next month.

    nicklevi86 in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    It is solemnly forcing Maduro’s hand, as the National Assembly has quite credibly declared Maduro’s election fraudulent and invalid. Constitutionally, Guaido becomes “interim President.” Maduro has been sidelining the National Assembly for years, and packed the Supreme Court.

    To stay in power forces him to openly defy Constitutional order.

      Edward in reply to nicklevi86. | January 27, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Not hard to defy the Constitution when you have the Supreme Court in your back pocket. The key now is whether the troops back the Generals who back Maduro, or they back Guaido and the National Assembly. Do they make their decision based on the privilege they might* receive from the regime, or base it on what they see around them (and perhaps even their own families).

      * I don’t know that they do receive special treatment (perhaps being paid with toilet paper in lieu of worthless Bolivars), but any dictator worth his torture cells knows that keeping the military happy keeps you secure.

    ConradCA in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 24, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    It’s likely that the US is providing weapons and training to those opposing the dictator.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 25, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Would have been a hard pill to swallow for over 2 million military members of this country had Hillary stolen the election. I knew some one-offs who liked Obama, I’ve never met a uniformed person who liked Hillary.

He looks like a cross between Obama and Beto O’Rourke.

    buckeyeminuteman in reply to snopercod. | January 25, 2019 at 7:30 am

    As so as I saw his photo, I logged in to say the same thing. But you Beto me to it! Haha, definitely a love child of the two.

A good summary can be found here, by an actual Venezuelan on the ground:

    gospace in reply to nicklevi86. | January 24, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Sounds like 2009 Honduras where the socialist strongman in charge ignored the Honduras Constitution. The POTUS at that time, along with his stellar state department, backed the strongman, not the Honduras Constitution. And lost.

This is a brutal reminder of how deep and entrenched socialism will become. .. right to the death of a country. I keep on thinking about that line in “Avatar”… “Venezuela… that was some mean bush”..about Sully as a Marine. Ever since Chavez and Maduro… what will be really take to save that country?

AOC ever comment on how evil MADURO being a billionaire is?


This will be a very dangerous chapter for Venezuela. I wish the people there well!

    alaskabob in reply to Ragspierre. | January 24, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Just following in the foot steps of the Castro Brothers as I understand it.

    AOC is not taking sides.

    From the Daily Caller:
    Ocasio-Cortez declined to pick sides when asked to comment on the situation, instead calling both Venezuela’s human rights situation and Trump’s decision to recognize Maduro’s opposition “concerning.”

If the army splits its loyalties, a social bloodbath will result.

aoc and tliab both seem to be into russian collusion. Neither has condemned Putin’s statement to Trump to stay out of Venezuela. Trump of course backed Guaido.
We need a committee to investigate russian collusion between the democrat socialists and Putin.

Sad that Legal Insurrection is using the “Proclaims Himself” wording too.
Words are important. The National Assembly considers Maduro’s election fraudulent, hence invalidating his mandate. The Constitution determines that in such case the President of the National Assembly becomes acting President.
People can agree or disagree with the Assembly’s decision, but that’s not the same as capriciously “proclaiming himself” President.
Words are important.

    Anonamom in reply to Exiliado. | January 25, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I have a minor quibble with your comment. I don’t know that it is fair to say “Legal Insurrection is using…” I always check the byline before I read a piece here, because there is one author in particular whose work I consistently find to be…lacking. I agree, however, that (very) important facts are lacking in this summary of the situation.

    Edward in reply to Exiliado. | January 27, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Good point. It certainly puts a different light on the (US) administration’s decision to recognize Guaido as Interim President.

So… two President’s…
Which is real?
The one with the Military.
Nothing else matters.

“Maduro received support from the usual suspects: Palestinian Authority and Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

You forgot that other dictatorial despot, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Bolivia’s 13 year President Evo Morales* is the only South American (and not incidentally Socialist) leader to support Maduro.

* Running for a fourth term with a Constitutional limit of two terms. Despite a 2016 referendum where the voters refused to eliminate the restriction, and 68% of the people opposing another term, Morales “convinced” the Supreme Court that it was a violation of human rights to prevent a person from running for office more than two terms. Hmm, same sort of Judges we often have, doesn’t matter what the law or Constitution states in plain language.