Venezuela votes against US-backed opposition leader – RT World News

Juan Guaido led at least one failed attempt to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro and received vocal support from Washington

Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela have voted to dissolve the « interim government » formed under their former leader, Juan Guaido, the main rival of the country’s ruling Socialist Party and once a darling of the US foreign policy establishment.

Taking its vote on a Zoom call, the opposition-controlled National Assembly decided to revamp its movement on Friday, with 72 lawmakers voting in favor of dissolving the legislature against just 29 opposed. Guaido’s term as head of the assembly, as well as his « interim presidency » declared in 2019 with the blessing of the United States, is now due to end on January 5.

« Venezuela needs new machines in this fight », Lawmaker Juan Miguel Matheus of the opposition Justice First party said after the vote, adding that Guaido’s tenure as interim leader « was something that was meant to be temporary, but it became something perpetual. »

Guaido and his supporters, meanwhile, have argued that dissolving the interim state could mean the demise of any unified opposition movement, insisting it would only strengthen Maduro’s power and influence. , who was deemed an illegitimate leader by Washington and a long list of allies.

“It’s not about defending Guaido. It’s about not losing the important tools we have in this fight,” Guaido said.

The upheaval in the opposition leadership follows several years of failed efforts to oust Maduro from power, including a series of heated street protests and an outright coup attempt in 2019. While Guaido and fellow opposition leaders failed to inspire mass defections among security forces as hoped, the ill-fated putsch enjoyed open rhetorical support from US officials.

As well as eliminating the caretaker government, the assembly said it would establish a new committee to oversee the state assets it still controls, which includes a quantity of gold stored at the Bank of England, as well as US oil company Citgo – even as it continues to be majority owned by PDVSA, a state-controlled energy giant operated by President Maduro’s government in Caracas.

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The National Assembly will also create a special panel to negotiate with Maduro, with the aim of participating in another round of elections scheduled for 2024.

As opposition candidates were expected to take control of the legislature after the 2015 elections, the results were later overturned by the courts and the government opted to launch an entirely new body known as the National Constituent Assembly. . Since then, Maduro’s opponents have effectively run a government in exile, with many lawmakers conducting official business from foreign countries.


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