The government of Brazil has announced that it recognizes Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela following his less-than-clear proclamation yesterday in Caracas. The move from Brazil marks the first instance of a government siding with the opposition in this new battleground of the Venezuelan crisis.
During a demonstration in Caracas yesterday, Guaido issued a poorly-worded statement in which he appeared to grant himself the role of interim President of the Republic. The statement caused mass confusion and debate throughout the country, and was subsequently clarified by a statement from the National Assembly confirming the meaning of Guaido’s words.
Guaido and the National Assembly stressed that he would take on the role on an interim basis until a new presidential election can be held, and that he could not practically take on the role without the support from both the people of Venezuela and the armed forces.
To achieve this, Guaido called on Venezuelans to take to their streets on January 23 in protest. The date is significant to Venezuelans because it is the anniversary of the ouster of the country’s last dictator, Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958.
More Details Emerge on January 23 March
Speaking at an event this afternoon, Guaido told supporters that he’s been in conversation with some regional leaders, including Mauricio Macri and Jair Bolsonaro, and that they spoke about how Venezuelan law regulates political transitions like the one he claims to be leading.
Guaido also stressed the importance of citizen participation in the transition from the Maduro regime to a democratic government, and that he announced the January 23 protest yesterday deliberately to give Venezuelans time to prepare for the day.
On the actual protest that day, Guaido dialed back expectations by saying that he was “not planning for D-Day”. Instead, Guaido suggested that the protest would be but another in a long line of tasks required to force Maduro out of office. He said:
We have to fight against disinformation. That’s key in the coming days. We don’t have to make January 23 out to be the final day. We have to manage expectations, [and] transform hope.
Civilian Helicopter Forced to Land After Taking Fire
A civilian helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in the Catatumbo region of Zulia state after it took fire from unknown assailants on the ground.
The helicopter is registered to a company called Aerocharter Andina S.A.S, and had three passengers on board, none of whom were injured.
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