Even Juan Guaido - the leader of the Venezuelan opposition who has garnered the support of the Trump administration - has not been able to escape his country's own crumbling infrastructure. He's been "showering" by dousing himself with a bucket of water while continually trying to overthrow the Maduro regime and evade arrest, according to a recent profile by Bloomberg.
It's one of the realities of living in Venezuela right now, a country that has seen an exodus of more than 4 million people as a result of the political and economic tension that has gripped it for the last several years.
But Guaido is trying to stay upbeat. He has acknowledged that things will get worse before they get better and has encouraged the U.S. to not ease up on sanctions that are worsening the country's economic crisis. "It's going to get worse," he told Bloomberg. Leading the National Assembly since January, he believes that the opposition movement will still succeed. He believes that elections could be held in 6 or 9 months, "because the pressure simply won’t let up on Maduro’s closest collaborators to break ranks".
It's an optimistic goal, especially given that Guaido failed a military uprising in April, causing his movement to lose momentum. Meanwhile, many of his allies have been detained or are in hiding.
Guaido himself must have constant security, changing locations every few weeks to stay ahead of Maduro's security forces. His recent interview with Bloomberg was conducted "from a barren office with a pitch-dark entrance closely guarded by burly bodyguards in a building in Eastern Caracas."
He is not only still defending the opposition's strategy, he's also dismissing the idea that his bid to oust Maduro has lost momentum or stalled. He said: “We have to push forward. Their persecution has not made a difference in doing politics, but it has made it more complex and much harder to do in terms of getting support in the streets."
The optimism of Guaido sent real estate prices soaring early in the year, but now his approval rating has dropped 5% to about 56.5%. Regardless, Maduro's ratings are at "historic lows" and Guaido wasn't even in the picture months ago.
Naturally, he continues to get support from the Trump administration, who is using sanctions against individuals, the oil industry and the gold trade to try and help Guaido usurp power. Guaido continues to remind his country that the misery in the country is squarely Maduro's fault, and argues that lifting sanctions would only "normalize" the crisis.
Guaido has not seen backing from China or Russia, who are both major Venezuelan creditors. Guaido says that both countries are softening their stance, however, and predicts as many as 40 people will vie for the Presidency if Maduro falls. "We’re united in the desire and need to get rid of Maduro. If 40 people want to compete for the presidency, they’re welcome to. That’s democracy", he said and several high level CIA officials quietly smiled somewhere deep in Langley's bowels.