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Who’s Backing Maduro? Probably Not The “Good Guys”
The country of Venezuela is going through a difficult transition of power from Nicolas Maduro to the newly-elected Juan Guaido. Countries are beginning to take sides.
The election of Juan Guaido is bringing a new hope to the people of Venezuela. After decades of failing socialist policies, Nicolas Maduro is getting pushed out of his position of power and choke hold over the country.
Many countries have shared their opinions on the new leadership, and the patterns of support (or non-support) for the incumbent paint a strong and divisive picture for the world to chew on. The country’s ongoing political crisis has divided the international community.
Who Supports Maduro?
The Venezuelan military, for one, are fierce supporters of Nicolas Maduro. For internationals, countries such as Russia, Iran, Cuba, China and Turkey are still supporting the leadership of Maduro.
Turkish President Erdogan, who survived his own coup attempt, has advised Maduro to “stay strong” in the face of his current political opposition. The two have recently engaged in a series of trade agreements. Maduro drew harsh criticism on a recent trip to Turkey for dining at the restaurant of internet sensation “salt bae,” eating lavish cuts of meat and smoking a cigar while over 80% of the population are experiencing food shortages and impossible inflation.
Iran has called the Presidential elections which are bringing Guaido to power a an “attempt to make a coup d’etat,” and added support for fending off any sort of foreign intervention and any illegitimate or illegal action.
Who Supports Guaido?
The UK, Spain and France haven’t been able to agree on much since before World War I, but all three agree that Juan Guaido is Venezuela’s new interim president.
After ignoring an EU ultimatum which called for free and transparent presidential elections in the country, Austria, Denmark and Sweden have officially supported Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Some of these countries have taken the brunt of the impact of Venezuela’s most recent economic collapse.
Within Latin America, most countries have come out with support of Guaido. This includes, strategically, right-leaning leaders keen to ward off the influence of the far-left in Venezuela.
In the case of America, even US President Donald Trump agrees, which drew fierce backlash from Maduro who stated that by supporting Guaido, he would effectively “stain his hands with blood” in the unlikely event that the United States would intervene in the country’s affairs.
Relations between the United States and Venezuela were poor in 1998 upon the election of Hugo Chavez, who oversaw a revamp of the country’s economic system and was verbally opposed to US foreign policy in South and Central America.
Relations got worse under the presidency of Maduro who was elected in 2013 after the death of Chavez. The US has been outspoken regarding Venezuela’s use of the judiciary to punish political opposition. Just last year, America declared Maduro’s reelection as illegitimate. US sanctions have been used as a scapegoat by Maduro to explain the country’s current economic crisis.