Venezuela’s opposition has voted out the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó, with whom it opposed socialist president Nicolás Maduro’s claim to power. After almost four years, a clear majority in the opposition-controlled parliament voted on Friday to depose Guaidó on January 5.
The opposition-controlled parliament was elected in 2015. It now has only largely symbolic meaning, having been replaced by a parliament loyal to Maduro at the end of 2020.
Venezuela’s opposition boycotted the last presidential election in 2018 and then declared Maduro’s election victory illegal. Dozens of countries including the US and EU members also criticized Maduro’s election as rigged.
Claimed power in early 2019
As a result, the opposition speaker at the time, Guaidó, declared himself interim president in January 2019. Numerous countries, including Germany and the USA, recognized him as the legitimate president. However, he never managed to assert himself against Maduro, who is supported, among other things, by the powerful military.
Recently, Guaidó’s influence in the country, which was suffering from a severe economic crisis, continued to dwindle. In view of the presidential elections in 2024, parts of the opposition now wanted to regroup and therefore voted to dismiss their hapless frontman. In May, the opposition announced that it would go into the presidential elections planned for 2024 with a single common candidate.
In view of his deselection, Guaidó addressed his compatriots directly: “To the Venezuelans: count on me. As Democrats, we will continue to defend the Constitution. Today I tell you: We will defeat the dictatorship. We will always meet again on the street.”