The story for dummies. On 5 January 2020, the military prevented Juan Guaidó from attending a parliamentary session in which he was standing for re-election as National Assembly leader. Instead, Luis Parra was elected (by Maduro’s allies).
Give me some context…
In 2018, Maduro was reelected. However, the U.S, Europe, Japan, Australia and others refused to accept it. They believe Maduro rigged the result of the elections.
On 23 January 2019, Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president contesting the leadership of Maduro.
Who is this guy? Juan is the head of the National Assembly (aka Parliament and the only democratic organ in the country) and the founder of the centrist party (aka Maduro’s opposition).
But how did he become president?
The Venezuelan Constitution says that when the presidency is vacant, the head of the National Assembly takes over. Since the Assembly doesn’t consider Maduro’s presidency legit, and therefore vacant (remember he rigged the 2018 elections), Guaidó said he had the right to take power.
- The U.S, Europe, Australia, Canada and most of Latin America recognize Juan as president.
- Russia, China, Cuba, Iran and Turkey support Maduro. They don’t like the U.S and see Guaidó as its puppet.
The problem. Although there are lots of demonstrations against Maduro, the military is on Maduro’s side. This makes it difficult for Juan to overthrow Maduro.
Today. On January 5, Venezuela had to elect a National Assembly leader.
Juan Guaidó and other opposition lawmakers were held back and a rival politician (friends with Maduro), Luis Parra, was elected. Undeterred, Mr Guaidó moved the session to another location where about 100 lawmakers re-elected him, leaving Venezuela not just with 2 presidents but also with 2 National Assembly leaders.
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