Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

Venezuela Is Stuck In A Tug-Of-War Between Two Presidents (HBO)

Venezuela Is Stuck In A Tug-Of-War Between Two Presidents (HBO)

A defiant Maduro called home all Venezuelan diplomats from the USA and closed its embassy in Washington on Thursday, a day after ordering all US diplomats out of the country by the weekend.

Officials warned that "the USA government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions", calling for State Department employees and their families to return home.

The move follows the Trump administration's rejection of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's order to break relations with the US and for American diplomats to depart by the weekend.

In September 2008, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy left Venezuela amid accusations by then-leader Hugo Chávez of an American plot to remove him. Maduro had declared the National Assembly, led by Guaido's opposition, to be illegitimate.

The U.S. has criticized Maduro throughout his time in office and has shown support for the National Assembly as the "last vestige of democracy".

The diplomat went on saying that Russian Federation has had no contacts and does not plan any with Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaido, whom a few countries have recognized as Venezuela's head of state.

Russia, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey expressed their support for Maduro. "That would create a risky precedent for any other person who would want to proclaim themselves the president of something".

Guaido's declaration takes Venezuela into uncharted territory, with the possibility of the opposition now running a parallel government recognised overseas as legitimate but without control over state functions.

The U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Trujillo, said he could not offer details on any steps being taken to ensure the safety of U.S. diplomats, including whether dependents would be evacuated.

Domestically, attention has been on Venezuela's military, a traditional arbiter of political disputes in the country, as a critical indicator of whether the opposition will succeed in establishing a new government. It also advised American citizens in Venezuela - who number nearly 50,000 - to leave while they can.

Colina, the former army lieutenant, said even though many rank-and-file troops are going hungry like countless other Venezuelans, they don't have effective leadership to challenge superiors, meaning it's likely they'll opt for the status quo.

In a video addressing the military earlier this week, Guiado said the constitution requires them to disavow Maduro after his May 2018 re-election, which was widely condemned by the global community because his main opponents were banned from running.

Guaido has said he needs the backing of three critical groups: The people, the worldwide community and the military. In a memo dispatched Thursday night, the State Department said "non-emergency" staff should leave the country because of security concerns.

The crisis in Venezuela marks a rare moment of focus on Latin America for the Pentagon, which has been consumed by insurgent wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan for almost two decades and is now seeking to reorient toward China.

He escalated his campaign Wednesday by declaring that the constitution gives him, as president of the congress, the authority to take over as interim president and form a transitional government until he calls new elections.

Like this: