The self-appointed “interim president” of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, received a humiliating setback in that country’s National Assembly vote on Jan. 5. He was deposed as leader of the parliamentary body.
Throughout 2019, Guaidó served as the designated puppet of U.S. imperialism in Venezuela. He made five attempts with a reactionary, pro-U.S. regime to overthrow and replace the Bolivarian government led by President Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó had no base among Venezuelans outside of his own assembly district and little credibility even among the opposition.
His main support came from the worst imperialist operatives allied with the Trump administration: Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Marco Rubio, Elliott Abrams, from Trump himself; from Luis Almagro — the Uruguayan U.S. agent heading the Organization of American States; the Iván Duque regime in Colombia; Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil; and from the European Union.
Guaidó’s complete lack of popular support helped defeat all five of his attempts to make a coup during 2019. He was also connected to the embezzlement of humanitarian aid and links to Colombian paramilitary outfits — “death squads.”
Opposition parties have dominated the National Assembly (AN) since the December 2015 vote. Apparently a majority of the representatives, even those opposing the Maduro government, were disgusted with Guaidó’s role.
On Jan. 5, some 81 of 150 voting members elected Luis Parra president, replacing Guaidó, who didn’t attend the meeting. Guaidó claimed he wasn’t allowed in, staging a fence-climbing photo-op.
Maduro recognized Parra as the new AN president, saying on Jan. 5: “The National Assembly has voted and there is a new leadership board. It was in the air that Guaidó was going to be removed by the very opposition.” Maduro criticized Guaidó for “not showing up.”
Parra said he would “pursue a path toward reconciliation” with the government. (quotes from venezuelaanalysis.com, Jan. 5)
On Jan. 8, Guaidó declared the Jan. 5 vote irregular and established his own version of the national assembly, with himself as its leader.
That means Guaidó is the self-appointed leader of a self-appointed assembly, which he claims gives him the right to be the self-appointed president. Pence congratulated him.
While his obvious lack of popular support may make him a ridiculous figure, U.S. imperialism’s backing for Guaidó continues the threat against Venezuela’s revolution and its sovereignty. The progressive movement in the United States must still resist U.S. interference in Venezuela and demand an end to U.S. sanctions that have imposed suffering on millions of Venezuelans.