Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Venezuela's Opposition Finds an Air Pocket

January 8th, 2020

But its best hope of unseating an illegal regime still lies at the negotiating table.
Mac Margolis

For months now, Venezuelan politics has been trapped in toxic stalemate. Two men claim the same job – congressionally-appointed interim president Juan Guaido, with all the street cred, and de facto head of state Nicolas Maduro, with all the guns.

Anti-government forces ostensibly control the legislature, but thanks to palace maneuvers their decisions don’t count. Each side is backed by rival global superpowers who play diplomatic chicken instead of encouraging conciliation.

What else could possibly go wrong? Silly question. On January 5, Maduro’s loyalists, with help from the National Guard, thwarted Guaido’s re-election as head of congress by blocking opposition lawmakers from the legislative assembly. As Guaido tried to scale the National Assembly fence, the governistas seized the day to name an opposition turncoat to preside over the legislature.

To read more, including quotes from David Smilde and Francisco Rodriguez, click here.