CUCUTA, Colombia – Almost three weeks after the Trump administration encountered an all-out attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, there is…
CUCUTA, Colombia – Almost three weeks after the Trump administration encountered an all-out attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro, there is some evidence that the Venezuelan president is losing his grip on power.
Dozens of nations have acknowledged opposition leader Juan Guidoo’s claim to the presidency and the US has tightened sanctions aimed at cutting billions of dollars in oil revenues. But anti-Maduro street protests have come and gone, and major military defects have failed to materialize.
With the United States almost certainly not launching military action, Guaido is trying to regain an effort this week to move the United States emergency food and medicine in Venezuela despite Maduro’s commitment to blocking it.
Such an operation can provoke a dangerous confrontation at the border ̵
1; or fizzle out and leave Maduro even stronger.
With so much at stake, Guaido increases pressure to soon renounce Maduro, analysts say.
“He runs toward the clock,” said Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez, a Venezuela expert at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “Expectations run very high – not only among Venezuelans but with international allies – that this is a crisis that can be resolved quickly.”
Although the world’s largest oil-based reserves have, Venezuela is hit by high levels of malnutrition, disease and violence after 20 years of socialist rule launched by late president Hugo Chavez. Critics accuse Maduro, a former bus driver and Chavez’s hand-picked successor, of unfairly winning last year’s elections for a second six-year period by banning their popular rivals from running and imprisoning others.
The 35-year-old Guaido was a virtually unknown legislature until last month when he touched the messenger-controlled National Assembly. He has collected lots of Venezuelans for street demonstrations that have left at least 40 deaths since he declared his interim president on January 23.
Guaido has so far avoided arrest, but the general inspector announced on Monday that it initiated an investigation of Guaido’s assets in a new escalation of the confrontation between the government and the National Assembly.
Guaido has won support from nearly 50 countries worldwide, including the United States, which has promised a first $ 20 million in support and has already sent emergency food and medicine to the Venezuela-Colombia border, where it is in a warehouse.
Maduro has refused all financial aid and denies that there is an economic crisis in Venezuela – and contrary to the support is part of a coup orchestrated by the White House to top him.
Maduro has shown that monitoring military operations played on state television almost daily. He has jogged with troops in formation, mounted an amphibian tank and plunged into what he says is a transitory US invasion he has resembled a Latin American Vietnam.
On Monday, the Socialist Party Commander in Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, spoke in a rally in the Venezuelan border town of Urena, crushing the streets with Maduro loyalists carrying the socialist party’s red shirts and waving flags.
Addressed crowd of Cabello claims that Venezuelans told him not to press the United States and say they are willing to endure whatever they need to keep the freedom from the imperial paragraph. He said the US supplies were sent in a neat screen aimed at justifying a coup.
“It’s not help and it’s not humanitarian,” he said to bowl of about 1,000 Maduro supporters, including civilians and soldiers.
US humanitarian aid is stored in a warehouse over a river from the socialist rally, a situation that also puts Maduro in a tough situation, says Eric Farnsworth of the Americas Council and the Americas Society, a Washington-based tank tank.
“If you let in, you bend to Guaido and the international community,” he said. “If you’re not seen as a tyrant.”
President Donald Trump has said that all options are on the table when it comes to Maduros oysters, but Farnsworth called some US military deployment very unlikely because such a move would make the United States responsible for delivering long-term food and rebuilding the godly land.
US sanctions imposed on state oil company PDVSA at the end of January and meant to press Maduro from the office have not yet asked. In the capital, Caracas, residents who pull up to gas stations can still fill their cars, despite fear of sanctions creating shortcomings.
Opposition leaders have been vague about how they plan to get help.
Last week, Lester Toledo, Guidoo’s representative in the Assignment Mission, suggested that it could be moved by lots of people converging on the border to carry food and medical equipment over.
On Monday, Guaido posted a video on Twitter showing himself and his wife calling phone calls calling on people to join a volunteer team by registering on a site and urging them to return to the streets in protest on Tuesday.
“We work hard,” he said in a conversation. “Not just to get the support, but also to stop tyranny” from Maduro.
Gaby Arellano, an opposition leader who is among the leaders, said the strategy was to pursue “tough” policies, which she said were setting up an agenda forcing Madur’s hand, even though she did not provide any details.
“We define politically the steps and they respond to what we put forward,” Arellano said. “We want and work for this to be as peaceful, least traumatizing and as fast as possible.”
Amaliexiz Mendoza, who lives in Cucuta with her 3-year-old daughter among the city’s major Venezuelan exile community, said she would go a thousand times to carry humanitarian aid to her compatriots. Her grandmother, aunt and young cousins still live in Venezuela and often get hungry and her grandmother can’t get the blood pressure medication she needs.
“It’s not right for a child to go to bed hungry,” said Mendoza. , tear up when she talked about Maduro’s denial that a crisis exists. “He lacks nothing but our families do.”
Smith reported from Caracas, Venezuela. Associated Press author Fabiola Sanchez and Jorge Rueda contributed from Caracas.