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Venezuelan opposition leader declared himself acting president. It threatens a coup during rallies

Politics was supported by Donald Trump and South American countries, but Russia remained on the side of the current leader and her ally.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez also said that the army does not support the self-proclaimed president and remains on Maduro’s side. The head of the constituent assembly urged supporters of Maduro to begin his duty at the presidential palace in case of an attempted armed seizure.

The cause of the thousands of meetings in Venezuela was a severe economic crisis , which fell on Maduro’s first term from 2013 to 2018. During this time, the minimum wage fell to $ 10, the number of emigrants was more than three million people, and the poor part of the population faced hunger . On January 10, 2019, Maduro again won the presidential election, but many Western countries and Venezuelan opposition refused to recognize the results of the vote.

At the time of this writing, thousands of meetings in Venezuela are continuing. According to various sources , as a result of the protests, between 13 and 16 people died.

Who is Juan Guaydo

Guaydo is 35 years old, he was born in the Venezuelan city of La Guaira. In 2007, he graduated from Andres Bello Catholic University with a degree in industrial engineering, and then studied at George Washington University in the United States with a degree in public administration.

In December 2018, Guaydo was elected chairman of the National Assembly, which since 2015 has been criticizing the Maduro regime and demanding his resignation. Supporters of the current government do not recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly and consider the Constituent Assembly that Maduro created to be the highest legislative body.

Guaydo supporters urged him to declare himself the current president of the country on January 10, when Maduro again won the election, but the oppositionist said he was waiting for the support of the army. On January 21st, Venezuelan media reported that the soldiers of the National Guard in Caracas had rebelled against Maduro and attacked the presidential palace.

Juan Guaydo shakes hands with supporters in Caracas, January 23, 2019 Photo by Reuters

 

The mutiny was suppressed, but, apparently, for Guaydo this was a signal for action. He made his statement about the presidency on a symbolic date – on January 23, the country marks the anniversary of the civil and military uprising, which led to the overthrow of the dictator Marcos Perez Jiménez.

In an interview with Kommersant in May 2018, the oppositionist stated that Maduro was an illegitimate president, and the elections in Venezuela were a farce. “There are almost four million Venezuelans – almost 13% of the population – who do not have access to basic medicines. They are doomed to a long, painful death, ” said Guaydo. In an interview, he stressed that regardless of who leads Venezuela, the country will seek to maintain relations with Russia.

The reaction of foreign countries

Less than an hour after the announcement of Guaydo, US President Donald Trump, the authorities of Canada and the South American countries supported his rights to the leading post. In total, more than 12 states acted on the side of the oppositionist, including Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Trump has publicly stated that the United States is carefully studying all response options if force is used against members of the National Assembly. The President said that at the moment does not consider the option of military intervention in Venezuela. The interlocutor of Bloomberg in the White House said that Trump will promote a new package of sanctions against Venezuela, if Maduro does not transfer the authority of President Guaydo in the near future.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The people of Venezuela suffered from the destructive dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro for quite a long time. We call on Maduro to relinquish his position to a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people.[/perfectpullquote]
Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State

Mexico, Bolivia, Turkey, Uruguay and Cuba stated that they still consider Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate head of state.

The reaction of Russia and the relationship of Moscow with Nicolas Maduro

The Russian Foreign Ministry called Maduro the legitimate president of Venezuela, and Russian diplomats called on opponents of the current leader to “not become pawns in someone else’s chess game. Foreign ministers warned that dual power in Venezuela would lead to chaos and “bloody civil strife.”

Putin and Maduro Photos by Alexei Druzhinin, RIA Novosti

According to Reuters, since 2006, the Russian government and Rosneft have issued loans to Caracas worth at least $ 17 billion. In December 2018, Maduro announced that Russia would invest five billion dollars in Venezuela’s oil industry. In the same month, the countries agreed to supply two strategic Tu-160 bombers to Caracas.

For 19 years of Vladimir Putin’s reign, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro were the most frequent foreign guests in Moscow, with the exception of the leaders of post-Soviet countries, writes The Bell. At the same time, the Russian president visited Venezuela only in 2010 as the prime minister.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]In 2008, Venezuela became the only major country to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the Russian-Georgian war. Recognize the Crimea Russian Caracas did not.[/perfectpullquote]

In an interview with The Bell, an unnamed Russian federal official said that even if Maduro left the presidency, “the obligation to pay loans will not go anywhere.” Another source of the publication is more skeptical about Russia’s ability to return the money transferred.

“The last five billion dollars, which Maduro agreed at a meeting with Putin in December, Russia most likely did not have time to provide. And with the rest of the money will be “as always”, if Maduro does not stand, but it is too early to make predictions on this matter, ”says the source of the publication.

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