Juan Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president and nations started taking sides
In a TV interview opposition challenger says he is determined to bring an end to president’s “dictatorship” but he doesn’t have the support of everybody involved.
Maduro could be granted amnesty if he quits quietly
Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, and his inner circle could be granted an amnesty if he agrees to relinquish power and submit to a peaceful political transition, his opposition challenger Juan Guaidó has said.
In a high-stakes political gamble, Guaidó on Wednesday declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate interim president and was quickly recognised as such by powers including the United States, Brazil, Canada and Colombia. Western nations are calling Maduro’s presidency unconstitutional and fraudulent.
But the opposition leader faces an uphill battle, as he does not have control over vital state institutions and armed forces have disclaimed him. Military commanders have so far promised to stick with socialist Maduro.
Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, has said that his government believed Guaidó was “the right person to take Venezuela forward” but China, Bolivia, Cuba, Russia, Iran, Syria and Turkey all backed Maduro, who claims he is the victim of a coup attempt masterminded by the US.
The US state department, on the other hand, has suggested the US citizens to “strongly consider” leaving Venezuela and ordered out non-emergency government staff.
Guaidó has big plans for Venezuela
During his first interview, Guaidó said he was determined to bring Maduro’s “dictatorship” to an end, stabilise his economically devastated nation and organise free elections as soon as he can.
The 35-year-old opposition leader renewed his call for Venezuela’s military – whose members have been offered an amnesty if they turned on their commander-in-chief.
He also stated that even Maduro himself could be offered an amnesty if he agreed to step aside.
Maduro’s move is still uncertain
Maduro, who has vowed to resist what he calls a “gringo” plot to unseat him, hasn’t yet given any hints on his decision. He addressed the supreme court in Caracas on insisting that he is ready for dialogue, understanding, negotiation and agreement.
However, in the same speech Maduro also attacked Guaidó, accusing him of being a pawn in a US-backed plot to destroy the leftist Bolivarian revolution he inherited after Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013.
It’s still unclear as to whether Maduro will now move against Guaido. The U.S. is making it clear that there could be a very strong response from them if he does so. The White House is saying no options are being ruled out. Maduro is being publicly defiant. But I think his future might depend now on whether he can maintain the support of the military.