In Venezuela, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is failing to ignite a military revolution. As a result, 25 Venezuelan soldiers who side with him fled. They now seek asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas. Knowing that their lives are at risk for defecting, they had few options. After all, betraying Maduro can carry a life sentence.
Similar to former President Obama’s uncertainty to intervene in Libya, President Trump is hesitant to commit U.S. troops to Venezuela. This country, which has faced numerous economic crises, is now mired in a political conflict between a US-backed resistance and the government. There are calls for humanitarian actions to prevent the Venezuelan government from harming its people. Others cite the Monroe doctrine to push Russian and Chinese influence outside of Latin America. But the use of military action creates many unknown scenarios, making it challenging to predict what the outcome might be. It is better to use caution than take the risk.
It’s been more than three months since Juan Guaidó declared himself the Interim President of Venezuela. He has since tried to end Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship ruling the country with an iron fist. The Venezuelan interim president has been doing his best to ignite a revolution to bring back democracy and dignified life to citizens of his country. At first, he tried to peacefully remove Maduro and his crew from power. But since it didn’t work, he has recently resorted to more violent means.
Michael Ottavio | United States
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump formally recognized Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate “interim president” of Venezuela. This comes as yet another slap to the face of Nicolas Maduro, the recently elected president of the country. Maduro had served as president since 2013.
Trump said in a statement this afternoon, “In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people, the National Assembly invoked the country’s constitution to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, and the office of the presidency therefore vacant. The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law”.
Out with Maduro, In with Guaido
This move comes after the Venezuelan National Assembly ruled Nicolas Maduro’s presidency illegitimate. This, therefore, left the Venezuelan presidency vacant. To fill the vacancy, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president. Maduro, who was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, immediately had his election labeled as fraudulent by other nations. Guaido, who rose to the top of the opposition, was arrested shortly after he proposed to take power. However, authorities released him soon after. The incident speaks to the disregard for the rule of law in the Maduro regime.
This move was not a surprising one from the Trump administration. Strong sanctions and heavy criticism of Maduro’s regime were all meant to bolster the opposition. It is also worth noting that Maduro has been responsible for destroying Venezuela’s economy and countless human rights violations.
Trump is now urging other nations to support Guaido and the opposition party. He states that the country “will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.”
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