Juan Guaido talks to the people during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela in 2019 (Photo:Shutterstock/Alfonzo)
April 27, 2022
International promotion of Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president has failed to achieve its intended aim.
Opposition groups designated Guaido as ‘interim president’ in January 2019 following the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro in discredited polls. The United States and other countries subsequently recognised Guaido as interim president and handed over control of some Venezuelan state assets to his team. More than three years on, international recognition of Guaido and increasing sanctions on Venezuela have not led to Maduro’s removal. Instead, Guaido looks increasingly marginalised.
President Joe Biden’s administration has distanced itself from a regime change strategy and is tentatively engaging with Maduro. Extricating this administration from its predecessor’s approach is a challenge, but the US geopolitical interests are shifting rapidly and encouraging a rethink on access to Venezuelan oil. The diplomatic footwork involved will be complicated, and a revival in oil imports from Venezuela may well not happen before the 2024 US presidential election.
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