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Analysis: Venezuela's revolution has stalled. Is Juan Guaidó still the answer?

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.5%. 2 min read.

Flanked by flags in the makeshift assembly hall of a non-descript office building, the leader of Venezuela's opposition told lawmakers that 2021 would be the year that would change Venezuela's fate.

"It's the end of a cycle, because in 2021 Venezuela will be reborn and will see freedom," Juan Guaidó said at the January 5 meeting, as he asked the opposition to unite around him.

The opposition's argument was that Guaidó should instead serve as Venezuela's interim president per his constitutional duty as President of the National Assembly -- at least until free and fair elections could be held.

Last month, most opposition figures from the National Assembly, including Guaidó withdrew ahead of another round of elections, saying they didn't have a fair shot.

Even the European Union, while rejecting the results of the National Assembly elections, did not refer to Guaidó as "Interim President" in a recent statement, saying "the EU will maintain its engagement with all political and civil society actors striving to bring back democracy to Venezuela, including in particular Juan Guaidó and other representatives of the outgoing National Assembly elected in 2015. "

Despite her criticism and the fact that some lawmakers have recently given in to regime pressure and switched sides to support Maduro, Machado claims Venezuela's opposition is still united -- though its strategy needs to change.

"Society has been more united and supportive when the opposition has been able to manage a strategy that the population feels can be effective in producing regime change," she explains, adding that "Juan Guaidó had huge support" while people believed his strategy of relying mostly on international pressure, especially US sanctions, could deliver.

Back in the wood-panelled room in East Caracas, Guaidó told lawmakers he welcomed "constructive criticism" from all sides, acknowledging that some had proposed different strategies, including Capriles and Machado, whom he said had done "so much" for Venezuela.

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