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Political Upheaval In Venezuela As Juan Guaidó Asserts Authority

Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Fernando Llano/AP)
Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Fernando Llano/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Editor's Note: Due to a scheduling issue, this segment did not air on Jan. 28 as planned.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Juan Guaidó has declared himself acting president of Venezuela. We'll look at the response from the country and globe.

Guests

Joshua Goodman, Andean news director for The Associated Press. (@APjoshgoodman)

Shannon O'Neil, vice president and senior fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. (@shannonkoneil)

From The Reading List

NPR: "Who Is Venezuela's Juan Guaidó?" — "In less than a month, Juan Guaidó has risen from obscure, junior lawmaker to self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela and the most serious threat yet to the authoritarian government of Nicolás Maduro.

"Guaidó, who defied Maduro by taking the oath of office on Wednesday, claims to lead a transitional government that will call free elections and return Venezuela to democracy. The 35-year-old was immediately recognized as Venezuela's legitimate leader by the United States, Canada and most Latin American nations and received widespread support from European countries.

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"In a speech Friday to cheering supporters at an outdoor plaza in Caracas, Guaidó proclaimed: 'We have awakened from the nightmare, brothers and sisters.' "

Associated Press: "Maduro faces off with U.S. over Venezuela rival’s power claim" — "Venezuelans headed into uncharted political waters Thursday, with the young leader of a newly united and combative opposition claiming to hold the presidency and socialist President Nicolas Maduro digging in for a fight with the Trump administration.

"Violence flared during big anti-government demonstrations across Venezuela on Wednesdsay, and at least seven protesters were reported killed in the escalating confrontation with Maduro, who has been increasingly accused of undemocratic behavior by the United States and many other nations in the region.

"Juan Guaido, the new leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, turned up the heat by declaring himself interim president before a mass of demonstrators in Caracas. He said it is the only way to end the Maduro 'dictatorship' in Venezuela, which has seen millions flee in recent years to escape sky-high inflation and food shortages."

New York Times: "Russia Warns U.S. Not to Intervene in Venezuela as Military Backs Maduro" — "The embattled government of Venezuela struck back against its opponents on Thursday, winning strong support from the country’s armed forces and the solid backing of Russia, which warned the United States not to intervene.

"The events put Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, at the center of a Cold War-style showdown between Russia, an ally that has shored up his government with billions of dollars, and the United States, which has denounced him as a corrupt autocrat with no legitimacy.

"The Trump administration pressed its case on Thursday, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on all countries in the hemisphere to reject Mr. Maduro and 'align themselves with democracy,' setting up a test of wills with the Kremlin.

"Only a day before, Mr. Maduro’s political nemesis, the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, seemed to have the momentum. During nationwide protests against the government, he proclaimed himself the country’s rightful president, earning endorsements from President Trump and several governments in the region."

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