Opposition leader seizes power in Venezuela


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Juan Guaido stands with two fellow politicians, Edgar Zambrano (left) and Stalin Gonzales (right). Guaido declared himself Interim President of Venezuela on Jan. 23, sparking massive controversy and outcry globally.

by Arushi Saxena, Global Editor

Amidst anti-government demonstrations on Jan. 23, Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition party in Venezuela, the National Assembly, declared himself interim president before demonstrators in Caracas. Though current President Nicolas Maduro has expressed no intent on stepping down, he has historically been accused of undemocratic behavior by several countries around the globe, including the United States.

In a statement on Twitter, President Donald Trump announced his support for Guaido: “The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.” Several other countries have recognized Guaido’s leadership as well, including Brazil, Canada, and Panama, where Pope Francis is currently attending a youth rally.

Maduro’s dictatorship has seen millions fleeing the country due to food shortages and economic crisis. As soon as Guaido made his announcement, he shouted “We know that this will have consequences,” before disappearing into the crowd and slipping into an unknown location to escape his expected arrest.

China and Russia, contrarily, issued strong statements in support of Maduro and have criticized the United States’ stance along with Turkey and Syria. Additionally, the price of oil has slipped for the third time in four days, showing international markets’ response to the Venezuelan crisis.