Guaido vs Maduro: What’s next for Venezuela?

As the US and the others support the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guaidó as Venezuela president what do you think about this decision? Some observers say it is a bit premature, so where could this lead? Read few comments.

Juan Guaidó (C). Credit: Juan Guaidó’s Twitter

Miguel Tinker SalasProfessor of Latin American Studies, Pomona College

The decision is not only premature, but could backfire for the US and its allies as well as on the opposition in Venezuela.

It strengthens the government’s claim that this is a “coup” orchestrated by Washington and which violates Venezuelan sovereignty.

The idea that Washington and its conservative allies can decide the presidency in a Latin American country brings back memories of the worst cases of US intervention in the region including recently Honduras and Haiti.

There is no doubt discontent in Venezuela, but the country is divided, and this action does little to diminish the polarization. In fact it could worsen conditions.

Those protesting in the poorer neighborhoods were not opposed to free education, or other social services, they were in fact protesting because the government had not fully delivered on their promises.

W. Alejandro SanchezInternational Security Analyst

At the domestic level, I would not be surprised if interim-President Juan Guaidó, other members of the National Assembly, or other opposition leaders are arrested. The Maduro regime has shown little remorse in the past when it comes to arresting popular opposition figures, such as Leopoldo Lopez. Perhaps because a number of governments, like Brazil and Canada, in addition to the U.S. back Guaidó, this may convince the Maduro regime that it is a bad idea to touch him, but this remains to be seen.

Now Venezuela has two presidents,President Nicolas Maduro, whose allies control the National Constituent Assembly (another controversial body that is regarded as illegitimate), the military, the supreme court, the electoral commission among other bodies. At the international level, the country is very isolated but retains some key supporters like China and Russia. On the other hand, we have interim-President Guaidó, head of a National Assembly that is not recognized by other governmental entities, but who is backed by the U.S., the Organization of American States, and other hemispheric governments. Even more, he is apparently supported by segments of the Venezuelan population, as exemplified by pro-Guaidó and anti-Maduro protests that are occurring in Caracas as we speak.

I do not believe this was a premature move. The international community as a whole condemned the May 2018 elections and did not recognize Maduro when he was sworn-in earlier in January. Hence, I believe this is the next natural step in this diplomatic war between Caracas versus just about everyone else.

Patricio  NaviaProfessor, Political Science, Universidad Diego Portales, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, New York University

I think the decision by the U.S. government is symbolically important. But it must be accompanied by real sanctions against the Nicolás Maduro regime to have a an effect. Maduro is in a weak position. If the U.S. were to suspend oil imports from Venezuela, the Maduro regime would not last for more than a few weeks.

The U.S. has now made a move from which it cannot retract.  If Maduro does not fall within the next few days, Washington will be in an awkward position.

As it now stands, the US decision has help further polarized Venezuela. If the push to force Maduro out fails now, it will become even more difficult to force him out in the near future.   That is why the move might have premature. If the US does not have an effective plan for the days to come, today’s decision will only weaken the U.S hand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: