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US-backed rival of Venezuela’s president lacks support – media

Opposition will reportedly look for another candidate to face Nicolas Maduro at the election, as Juan Guaido failed to remove him

The opposition in Venezuela is considering withdrawing its support for Juan Guaido, the US-endorsed interim president of the country, in 2023, according to the media, citing sources. If that happens, the future of Caracas’ billions in overseas holdings, 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 interim leader of the country. This came after the re-election in 2018 of Nicolas Maduro, rejected by many Western countries as a sham. However, despite the political challenge to him from Guaido, and the heavy sanctions introduced on Maduro’s ‘regime’ by the West, he has remained in power and is still considered as the country’s legitimate president by several nations, including Russia, Iran and China.

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

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

According to the Wall Street Journal’s source, Venezuela’s opposition “is getting very close to that consensus that the interim government experiment didn’t work and that a new structure is needed.” 

Meanwhile, a person close to Guaido, quoted by the outlet, said that the interim president would be prepared to step aside but only when the opposition sets out its plans regarding multi-billion state assets abroad, including US-based oil refiner Citgo Petroleum and more than $1 billion in gold at the Bank of England. These assets came under Guaido’s control after the US and its allies recognized the head of the National Assembly as an interim leader of the country.

Publicly, Guaido, whose term expires in January, has been insisting that the interim presidency is valid until “a free and fair election.” 

The US State Department in a statement quoted by Reuters said that the US has been discussing with Guaido’s administration the further steps necessary for “restoration of democracy” in Venezuela.

https://ift.tt/OsjPYw5 22, 2022 at 09:26PM
from RT – Daily news

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