The Different Views on Venezuela’s Political Situation

Andres Rincon

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On January 23, Juan Guaido, leader of the legislature, declared himself the interim president of Venezuela, assuming the powers of their executive branch. This declaration challenges the power of Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime.  With this battle for power, governments all over the world are questioning the legitimacy of both Guaido and Maduro.


The discontent with Maduro is exemplified in Sobeida Monsalve, a 42-year-old opposition protester, showing his desperation saying that he’s “fighting for [his] family, [his] children and parents, resisting the military’s tear gas.” This struggle is common among Venezuelans. Families all across the country who continue to struggle to find basic necessities like food, water, and electricity, are met with opposition from the Venezuelan military.  


According to the Department of State, the United States recognizes Juan Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela and wholeheartedly supports the challenge to Maduro’s authoritarian regime. On February 18, President Trump enacted new sanctions targeting five high-profile figures in Maduro’s regime and security service, saying that “the people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law.” As a result of these sanctions, Maduro’s stream of money will be blocked, preventing him from mobilizing military or government services.  On February 25, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Bogota, Colombia on behalf of Trump, to declare their support and to continue the discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Michael R. Pompeo, the Secretary of State, claims that Guaido is capable of “restoring democracy to Venezuela.”

Thus far, Guaido has been recognized by nine European nations: France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and the Netherlands. Britain, Germany, France, and Madrid have all taken the same stance, claiming that they will recognize Guaido as the legitimate president Venezuela unless Maduro enacts a new, free, and fair presidential election by February 3. However, Maduro has so far refused to have a new election, and on February 4, thirteen  more European nations joined the United States and Canada in fighting against Maduro