Is it possible that the days of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are numbered? It seems the people are finally fed up with living under starvation and tyranny, as they’ve taken to the streets to demand the president’s ouster, embroiling the country in a bitter political clash between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido.
To make matters worse for the dictator, it appears that much of the rest of the world is demanding that he step down. Several nations have refused to recognize him as the president of Venezuela. Trump announced his support for Guaido over Maduro via Twitter – which, interestingly enough, earned him a little love from many of the normally “Never Trump” crowd in the mainstream media. But Maduro will not give up his power easily and has already struck back at those who oppose his rule – including the United States.
Maduro: A President No More?
Several Latin American nations recently announced that they will no longer recognize Maduro as president. These include Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Peru. They have decided to support Guaido, who has become popular among the Venezuelan people. Not surprisingly, Cuba remains one of Maduro’s few supporters.
Some Western nations have joined the bulk of Latin America in condemning Maduro and supporting Guaido, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. In his tweet, President Trump explained his own reasons for dismissing Maduro:
“The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime. Today, I have officially recognized the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the Interim President of Venezuela.”
Maduro Lashes Out
The beleaguered Venezuelan president is not taking his situation lightly. In response to Trump’s endorsement of Guaido, the dictator recently announced that he is cutting off relations with the United States and ordered American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours. Guaido, on the other hand, urged diplomats from all nations to remain in Venezuela despite Maduro’s statement.
Apparently, it is the Trump administration’s job to bring about the downfall of every evil dictator currently in power.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially dismissed Maduro’s demands, stating that he “does not consider former president Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata.”
Shockingly, left-leaning media outlets expressed cautious optimism about Trump’s decision to back Guaido, stating that the president made the right call. Slate’s Leon Krauze penned a piece stating that “The White House has handled the crisis well so far, but the risks of overreach are huge.” The Washington Post’s Frida Ghitis echoed similar concerns. “The United States remains the world’s most powerful country, with the ability to greatly influence the course of events, but it should play a supporting role, lending its voice to a regional chorus of democracy, acting for once as a humble superpower,” she wrote.
Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. NBC News published a piece, titled “Why Trump is trying to oust Maduro from Venezuela, but not other global dictators,” in which Andrea Mitchell rips the president for opposing Maduro but not others of whom she disapproves. Apparently, it is the Trump administration’s job to bring about the downfall of every evil dictator currently in power.
As the anti-Maduro demonstrations continue, many are wondering how this latest bout will play out. The Venezuelan people have attempted to remove their president on multiple occasions, but they have not been successful. Maduro still has the support of the majority of the military and isn’t afraid to use violence to squash protests. Moreover, he has remained in power by targeting his political opposition and any journalists who dare to speak out against him.
The United States has announced a plan to give $20 million in humanitarian aid to Venezuela due to the poor conditions in which its citizens live. Unfortunately, if Maduro remains in power, it is possible that these resources will never get into the hands of the people. With the military in his pocket, there’s a good chance he’ll retain power for now. But regardless of the outcome of this latest episode, it is abundantly clear that the people of Venezuela are ready for a change.