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Nicolás Maduro Has Stripped Venezuela of Its Democratic Future

SOS Venezuela demonstrators

(AP)

May 31, 2019

As on-again off-again negotiations for Venezuela’s future start up again in Norway, both the Maduro regime and the constitutional interim government seek a knockout blow that neither has yet been able to deliver. But the status quo is unsustainable; without a dramatic course correction Venezuela is headed for national collapse.

On January 23, 2019, Juan Guaido claimed the interim presidency according to Venezuela’s constitution. Nicolas Maduro’s term expired on January 10; his 2018 “re-election” was a deeply flawed, cynical manipulation of the voting process widely rejected by the international community including the Organization of American States. Over fifty nations now recognize Guaido as the legitimate, albeit temporary, leader. The coup de main was intended to be a May 1 uprising led by senior regime officials. They planned to force Maduro into exile and install Guiado to organize new elections. In the end, word leaked, the timeline was accelerated, and the plan was ultimately aborted.

Maduro maintains power but not constitutional or electoral legitimacy. He is moving against those thought to be insufficiently loyal and has also stepped up harassment of Guaido supporters, including national legislators, whom he wants to replace via early elections. The international community—including the United States, Europe, and the Lima Group—have come to understand that Maduro is more resilient than many had believed...

Read the full article in The National Interest.