Venezuela has 2 presidents for dummies. Two people claim to be the president of Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó.
Give me context.
- In 2013, Hugo Chávez died and his VP Nicolás Maduro replaced him. In 5 years, Maduro’s dictatorship has led Venezuela into the worst economic crisis.
- In 2018, Maduro was reelected. But the US, Europe, Japan and others believed Maduro rigged the results of the elections.
- On 23 January 2019, Juan Guaidó declared himself acting president contesting the leadership of Maduro.
Who is Juan?
He 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? Is it legal?
We don’t really know. 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 says he had the right to take power.
2 presidents in Venezuela.
- The US, 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.
Although there are lots of demonstrations against Maduro, the military is on Maduro’s side. This makes it difficult for Juan to overthrow Maduro.
- The US has outlined its plan to achieve democracy in Venezuela. Basically, Trump wants to hold new elections in which neither Nicolás Maduro nor Juan Guaidó can participate, and to create a new National Council and a new Supreme Court.
- This new strategy comes less than a week after the US accused Maduro and his aides of “narco-terrorism”, saying his country had flooded the US with cocaine to undermine the health of Americans.