Venezuela’s U.S.-backed interim president could be ousted next year – media – Reuters

The opposition is reportedly seeking another candidate to take on Nicolas Maduro in the election after Juan Guaido failed to impeach him

The opposition in Venezuela plans to withdraw its support for Juan Guaido, the interim president of the US-backed country, in 2023, according to media reports, citing sources. If that happens, the future of the billions of Caracas held abroad, now controlled by Guaido’s interim government, would once again be uncertain.

Venezuela has been living in a dual-presidency situation since 2019, when Washington and dozens of other nations recognized Guaido as the country’s interim leader. This follows the 2018 re-election of Nicolas Maduro, dismissed by many Western countries as a sham. However, despite the political challenge thrown at him by Guaido and the heavy sanctions imposed on Maduro’s « regime » by the West, he remained in power and is still considered the legitimate president of the country by several nations, including Russia, Iran and China.

According to Reuters sources, opposition parties want to focus on choosing a single candidate to stand against Maduro in the next elections, which are expected to be held by 2024. As Reuters reported earlier this month, the opposition agreed to hold its primaries. end of June 2023.

According to these sources, five out of six opposition parties said they would not support Guaido or any other interim leader, with only Guaido’s party, Voluntad Popular, prepared to continue supporting the interim government.

According to the Wall Street Journal source, the Venezuelan opposition « closes to that consensus that the experiment in the caretaker government has not worked and that a new structure is needed. »

Meanwhile, a person close to Guaido, quoted by the outlet, said the interim president would be ready to step down, but only when the opposition presents its plans for billions of state assets to the government. overseas, including US oil refiner Citgo Petroleum and over $1 billion in gold at the Bank of England. These assets came under Guaido’s control after the United States and its allies recognized the head of the National Assembly as the country’s interim leader.

Publicly, Guaido, whose term expires in January, has insisted that the interim presidency is valid until « a free and fair election.

The US State Department, in a statement quoted by Reuters, said the United States was discussing with Guaido’s administration additional measures needed to « restoration of democracyin Venezuela.

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