As with most things about US foreign policy today, the irony of this situation is just too much to bear.
After Juan Guaidó, the self-styled ‘democratic president’ of Venezuela, declared himself to be Venezuela’s rightful ruler on January 23, 2019, he was quickly recognised by Washington DC and then dutifully by those nations subservient to US foreign policy dictates. For weeks, opposition ringleaders and pro-US mobs celebrated, believing that by some miraculous sequence of events – that the Maduro “regime” would fall within days.
Seven months later, Nicholas Maduro is still in power, and the Guaidó mobs have dissipated.
What’s worse, Washington’s “interim leader” Guaidó is now instructing his opposition followers notto participate in the upcoming legislative elections. In other words, he and Washington are shunning democracy altogether in Venezuela.
In an interview on Friday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido announced that he and the rest of the opposition would refuse to participate in any early legislative electionscalled by the Maduro government.
Maduro allies have suggested they’d like to hold an election for the National Assembly in January or earlier. The parliament’s term is officially set to end in December of 2020, and elections would normally be held a few months before that.
Guaido is the majority leader in the National Assembly, and has used that position to declare himself the rightful ruler of Venezuela. Guaido says the assembly will remain in place until Maduro is removed from power, arguing no free elections are possible until then.
It’s clear Maduro would like to replace Guaido with a parliament leader more friendly to his continued rule, and it was also raised as a possibility that fresh elections might resolve complaints about the manner in which Maduro won. So far its not clear either side is willing to move forward with that unless they are confident the outcome benefits them.