A fractured Venezuelan opposition puts an end to Juan Guaidó’s experiment in Venezuela

The Venezuelan opposition has put an end to the self-proclaimed government of Juan Guaido in Venezuela after four years, so that a new political stage opens with the 2024 presidential elections in sight. The decision to abandon Guadió has been taken by the members of the old Parliament elected in 2015which branded the triumph of Chavismo in the 2020 parliamentary elections as fraudulent.

The end of Guaidó’s self-styled “interim” has been approved by 72 votes in favor and 29 againstwith eight abstentions, in a virtual session that the opposition leader calls “unconstitutional.”

“That political decision made by the bench, which today makes up the majority that I respect as a democrat, is unconstitutional because the Article 233“Guaidó said during an interview with RTVE. The self-proclaimed Venezuelan president has claimed power and alleges the illegitimacy of Nicolas Maduro as agent In addition, Guaidó has reinterpreted the Constitution to extend his interim presidency for four years, when the article that supported his proclamation gave him 30 days to call elections.

“The dictatorship is the only one holding this debate on the National Assembly and the decision of a parliamentary majority to eliminate a constitutional tool such as the presidency in charge”, comments Guaidó on his Twitter account. The truth is that 72 former deputies who supported his self-proclamation in 2019 as president in charge of Venezuela, approved last Friday the elimination of the call “interim government“, an instance that had the recognition of USA and a small group of countries.

The former parliamentarians, meeting electronically, have ratified this decision that they had already approved in a discussion the previous week, despite the rejection of a small group that defended the continuity of the interim. In turn, they agreed to keep the National Assembly elected in 2015 active, which does not recognize the legitimacy of the Legislature installed in 2021, with a strong official majority, only to legislate around the protection of Venezuelan resources abroad.

Guaidó’s approach, which was to preserve the interimwas supported by only 23 former deputies who described the elimination of this figure as a “legal assassination“. Eight opponents, some independent and others from the parties Citizen Meeting Y Venezuela projectthey abstained in the vote when questioning the constitutional legality of the proposal presented by the formations Democratic Action, justice first Y a new time.

“Interim Government of Narnia”

Guaidó, who proclaimed himself interim president in a public square on January 5, 2019 with the support of Washington, gained control of Venezuelan assets blocked abroad by sanctions against Maduro. However, could never assume real powerdespite broad international support that diminished over time.

President Maduro often ironizes around Guaidó when talking about “Narnian interim government“. In the same vein, the Minister of Communication and Information of Venezuela, Freddy Náñeztweeted: “That nobody rests in peace: the one who never was and being nothing stops deserving today even the mockery of nothingness.”

The self-baptized interim government has finished falling apart with the vote last Friday, but the Parliament of 2015 is maintained, which will appoint a commission dedicated to the issue of Venezuelan assets frozen abroad and that will maintain parallel directives of the state oil company PDVSA and the central bank to sustain legal proceedings in foreign courts.

Allies who maintain support for Guaidó believe that the approved proposal is a mistake. “I can’t understand how we are committing this suicide,” lashed out the former deputy Freddie Guevara in the virtual session. “I don’t understand how we got to this point, andThe first political suicide of formal surrender broadcast live on the Internet”, shot Guevara.

The situation deepens the fractures of the opposition, which seeks to go to primaries to choose a candidate who is capable of facing Maduro in the 2024 elections. “I am here and I remain firm“Guaidó, the target of numerous judicial investigations and who still sounds like a presidential candidate, said in the last hours.

No external support

However, international support for Guaidó has been diluted in these four years. The United States, its main ally, did not react to the elimination of the interim, but had previously sent Caracas delegates to meet with Maduro despite repeated sanctions. The context has changed with the energy crisis created by the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Venezuelan crude, the target of an embargo since 2019, became a more attractive booty for western countries.

While Maduro was gaining ground, Guaidó was losing the trust of his followers as allegations of corruption against officials appointed by the opposition leader to “protect” Venezuelan assets abroadwhere they ended up being singled out for their luxurious life and irregular handling of public funds. Colombia and the United States, which gave full support to Guaidó’s experiment, registered the biggest scandals of embezzlement of resources within Venezuelan companies that were under the management of “president in charge“.

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