By KAITLYN SUTOW
Venezuela is in a government crisis where a candidate, Juan Guaido, is being represented as president while Nicolas Maduro was the one voted into office back in 2013, according to Max Fisher, the writer of “The Interpreter” from the New York Times. Countries, such as the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain, have expressed that Maduro is an illegitimate president and that Guaido is the rightful leader of Venezuela.
Roughly 300,000 protesters, about 1 percent of Venezuela’s population, gathered in the streets of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, to “denounce [Maduro] as illegitimate.” As of now, Maduro has few followers, and they are mostly among the poor. Dissenters argue that his 2018 re-election victory is fraud, and he no longer has the popular support to act as president.
Matt Ferchen, from The Washington Post, claims that China sided with Maduro during this crisis despite a history of tension between the countries. This tension is partially due to previous oil trade deals. Despite this, China has officially responded by recognizing Maduro as president, leaving Guaido as a candidate. It is believed China sided with Maduro due to links in the oil industry, hoping Maduro would end up on top and continue the “vast oil imports.”
Bloomberg’s Jonathan Stearns addressed how Maduro is calling for a new election. However, since Guaido is the one assumed president, he is the one expected to initiate the election process. This government crisis has caused a worldwide split, causing countries to pick sides, and it seems Guaido is in the lead. The countries gave Maduro a chance to regain his title as president if he would call for elections within eight days of Jan. 26. They agreed Guaido was the president on that day.
Since Maduro is in need of help, he has written a letter to Pope Francis asking him to mediate the crisis to stop the escalation in Venezuela. In his efforts, the new election could end badly for him because of his perceived disadvantage in popularity and following.