Venezuelan opposition strips Guaidó of 'presidential' role
For three years, Juan Guaidó led the Venezuelan opposition’s efforts to bring about new elections and remove socialist President Nicolás Maduro. But on Friday, dozens of politicians who once backed Guaidó voted in favor of removing the 39-year-old engineer and replacing his U.S.-supported “interim government” with a committee to oversee presidential primaries next year and protect the nation’s assets abroad. The vote reflects a changing balance of power within the opposition, which is trying to find new ways to connect with voters ahead of the nation’s 2024 presidential election. Three of Venezuela’s four main opposition parties backed the proposal to remove Guaidó, who was supported only by his own Popular Will party. After the vote, Guaidó said the move would create a “power vacuum” that could encourage more foreign nations to recognize the Maduro administration. “If there is no interim government, who will they recognize in its place,” he said. “Today we have jumped into the abyss. And given up on an important tool in our struggle.” Guaido's opponents said new ways of connecting with voters should be found. The interim government has no sway over local institutions and is unable to provide basic services, with some Venezuelans mocking it as a “fake” government. “It's with a heavy heart that I make this vote,” said Luis Silva, a member of the Democratic Action party who participated in the online session for the vote. “We haven’t been able to come up with a unanimous decision, but we need to look for new strategies.” Daniel Varnagy, a political science professor at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, said the opposition had generated high expectations under Guaidó’s leadership but then failed to keep its promises to people yearning for a change in Venezuela's governance. "He promised to cease (Maduro’s) usurpation, lead a transition and organize fair elections, and none of that happened,” Varnagy said. Guaidó rose to leadership of the opposition in 2019 when he was president of the then opposition-controlled legislature, which had begun its five-year term in 2015 after what many observers considered Venezuela’s last fair elections. It was the last instution not controlled by Maduro's socialists. The National Assembly argued Maduro won his second presidential term illegally in 2018 because his main rivals were banned from running. So the opposition legislators created an “interim government,” headed by Guaidó, that was meant to last until Maduro stepped down and free elections could be held. Guaidó organized protests in Venezuela, snuck out of the country for an international tour and was recognized as the nation’s legitimate leader by the United States and dozens of European and Latin American governments that rejected Maduro’s rule. His interim administration was also given control of Venezuelan government assets abroad that had been frozen, including Citgo, the Houston-based oil refiner. But the Guaidó-led opposition failed to win over the Venezuelan military or the nation’s courts to its side, while Maduro’s administration faced down street demonstrations and tightened its grip even more on the South American nation. The failure to drive out Maduro frustrated Venezuelans, who are struggling with high inflation, food shortages and the lowest wages in South America — hardships that prodded millions of people to migrate in recent years. In a poll taken by Venezuela’s Andres Bello University in November, only 6% of Venezuelans said they would vote for Guaidó if he participated in presidential primaries next year while a few other opposition leaders got bigger numbers. Guaidó’s influence has also diminished since late 2020, when the National Assembly that elected him as interim president was replaced by new legislators chosen in elections boycotted by opposition parties. Many members of the 2015 National Assembly are now in exile, but they continue to claim to be Venezuela’s legitimate legislative branch and hold online meetings in which they make decisions on issues involving the “interim government.” On Friday, 72 of the 109 former legislators who participated in the online session voted in favor of a measure calling for replacing Guaidó’s interim administration with a committee made up of several opposition leaders. ___ Rueda reported from Bogota, Colombia.
Moulbhibazar residents find Venezuela mentioned as birth place in NIDs
At least 12 permanent residents of Moulvibazar district found their birth place mentioned as South American country Venezuela in their National Identity Cards (NID). The comical mistake occurred after these NID holders living in the country or outside as expats submitted their cards to district and upazila election offices to correct some previous mistakes. “I was born in Moulvibazar but now I have become a citizen of Venezuela, a country I didn’t know existed until now. My children are making fun of the fact that their mother has become an American citizen!,`` Romana Begum from Talimpur village of Baralekha upazila told the UNB reporter on Sunday. Read: HC: Bangladesh Railway gets 7 days more to submit report on mismanagement Romana said her second name was mistaken as Akter in the NID so she submitted an application in May to fix it instead she now received the card with a more serious mistake. ASM Sadikur Rahman, Upazila Election Officer of Baralekha upazila said, “ The mistake occurred due to a glitch in the central server of Election Commission. EC has been informed about this situation.” According to the district election office the same kind of mistakes occurred in recently issued NIDs of several districts including Sunamganj, Moulvibazar in the country due to the technical glitch in EC server. EC is trying to resolve the issue.
Bangladesh to work for resolving dispute between Guyana and Venezuela: FM
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Chair of Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana, on Tuesday reaffirms the proposal of the group for peaceful settlement of the dispute between Guyana and Venezuela through the intervention of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). ''Bangladesh looks forward to steering the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana to reach a peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and international adjudication which also is in line with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's visionary foreign policy doctrine," Momen said. The foreign minister attended the virtual meeting for the second time during his tenure as the chairman. Bangladesh took over the chairmanship from South Africa for this Ministerial Group. Read: Bangladesh to be voice of climate vulnerable countries: FM The Group is currently overseeing the long-standing territorial dispute between the British Guyana and Venezuela over their maritime territory. Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland and Foreign Ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica and the UK were present in the meeting. Momen reiterated firm and unswerving support for the maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Guyana. He assured that Bangladesh would steer the deliberations of this Ministerial Group's work towards a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute between Guyana-Venezuela.
Venezuela’s Maduro sends oxygen to Brazil amid virus spike
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has authorized the dispatch of oxygen to Brazil to help its South American neighbor treat people sickened amid another wave of the coronavirus, despite frosty relations between the two governments and Venezuela’s own lack of hospital supplies.
Venezuelan president says arrest of Juan Guaidó "will come"
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Friday that authorities haven't detained opposition leader Juan Guaidó because the courts haven't ordered it, but he warned: "It will come."
Russian foreign minister visits Venezuela, bolstering Maduro
Russia's foreign minister visited Venezuela on Friday in a show of support for President Nicolás Maduro as U.S. vows of more pressure threaten to cut off the socialist leader from a key financial ally in Moscow.
Venezuela blocks entry of human rights investigators
An international human rights commission said Tuesday that the government of President Nicolás Maduro has blocked its members from boarding a plane for Venezuela, where they planned to investigate alleged abuses.
Guaidó seeks EU sanctions for Venezuela, meeting with Trump
Venezuela's opposition leader said Wednesday that he wants the European Union to broaden sanctions against members of the Venezuelan government as a way to push toward free presidential elections in the country.
Venezuela lawmakers again blocked from congress session
Venezuelan lawmakers opposed to President Nicolás Maduro called off an attempt to hold a session in the national congress building on Tuesday, saying they wanted to avoid clashes with security forces and armed government supporters blocking entry.
Venezuela's Guaido to meet Pompeo in Colombia
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó has traveled to Colombia to participate alongside U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a regional counter-terrorism meeting — a new show of support by the Trump administration for the man it says is the country's legitimate leader.