What Is Going on in Venezuela?

Aaron Bastani - 28 January 2019

Last week the US recognised Juan Guaidó, head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as the country’s rightful president. It was quickly joined by countries across the Americas including Canada, Brazil and Colombia in demanding Nicolas Maduro step aside.

The EU abstained from immediately joining such calls, saying instead that it supports the National Assembly as the “democratically elected institution” and that Maduro had eight days to call fresh elections. In the absence of that, it would have little choice but to follow Washington and recognise Guaidó as the country’s legitimate leader – something already explicitly stated by the UK, Spain, France and Germany.

The reasons for such a sudden shift are wide-ranging and often ambiguous, with Maduro’s critics highlighting democratic shortcomings, human rights abuses and economic mismanagement as adequate grounds for regime change – as if all three were somehow equivalent... See more