Juan Guaidó: US backs opposition leader as Venezuela president

BBC

BBC’s Beyond 100 Days reported on the Venezuelan political crisis. Inter-American Dialogue president Michael Shifter analyzed Juan Guaidó’s swearing in as interim president, as well as the role that the military and external actors will play in Venezuela’s democratic transition.

Michael Shitfer’s comments: 

“We have two governments in Venezuela – one has the power, the other has legitimacy. Maduro has the power and Guaidó has the constitution behind him.”

“The US has personnel in the embassy in Caracas. Maduro is saying that they have to leave, Guaidó says they should stay. If they leave it is a betrayal of Guaidó, if they stay there are some dangers.”

“Russia is interested in portraying strength in the so-called ‘backyard’ of the United States.”

“It’s an economic issue, a political issue, and a humanitarian crisis as well. We have over three million Venezuelans that have fled the country in the last couple of years and more are projected to leave according to the UN.”

“The only reason we are in this situation is because there is a new leader who has created some momentum for the opposition. So now you have an alternative which I think is promising but also comes with its risks.”

“The Trump administration is not loved in Latin America, but most people think the administration is on the right side of this question.”

“I hope this ends through a negotiation, that will take a long time. High-level military officers have a lot at stake – they have made a lot of money on illicit activities, there have been a lot of human rights abuses, and if they are going to walk away that will need some guarantees and that will require a degree of confidence between the opposition leaders and military officials.”

Watch the full interview here