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Chronology of the end of the government of Juan Guaidó in Venezuela

The end of the “interim government” of Venezuela, a tool constituted by the political opposition as an alternative to Nicolás Maduro, marks an unprecedented turning point. Juan Guaidó, proclaimed ‘president in charge’ in January 2019, has not managed to appease the discomfort of some increasingly critical partners who have been reproaching him for months for the lack of progress against a Maduro who is increasingly integrated into the international community.

Below is a review of some of the main dates that have marked Venezuelan politics in recent years:

MAY 20, 2018

Maduro, successor to Hugo Chávez, obtains a second term with 68 percent of the votes, in elections marked by the absence of big names from the opposition. The parties that are detractors of Chavismo consider that there are no minimum democratic guarantees, which translates into a low participation of 46 percent.

JANUARY 10, 2019

Despite the internal unrest and the wave of criticism from Western governments, Maduro takes office for his second term, at a turning point in international positioning. The governments that did not recognize the May 2018 elections, including Spain, do not admit that Maduro can continue as president either.

JANUARY 23, 2019

The president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, argues the absence of a legitimate head of state to establish himself as ‘president in charge’, by virtue of a path that contemplates the Constitution itself. More than fifty countries, including the United States and Spain, endorse this step and recognize Guaidó as the only valid interlocutor.

APRIL 30, 2019

Guaidó appears at dawn together with a group of soldiers and his partner Leopoldo López, symbol of the 2014 protests and until then in custody, to announce ‘Operation Freedom’, called to be the final attack against the Executive. After hours of uncertainty, the mobilization fades.

Rumors arose about the reasons and circumstances of this operation, a coup attempt in the eyes of the Executive. Washington maintains that several senior Chavista officials repented at the last moment, something that has never been proven.

JANUARY 5, 2020

A sector of the opposition tries to gain control of the National Assembly, in a chaotic session supported by Chavista ranks and which ends with Luis Parra as the supposed new head of the legislative body. Neither the main opposition parties nor the governments allied to Guaidó grant any kind of validity to this movement.

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2020

Guaidó is on a three-week tour that takes him through some of the countries that have supported him the most in the past year, in an attempt to relaunch his cause and show that the government does not control his movements. Madrid is among the stops.

JULY 1, 2020

Chavismo announces the call for new parliamentary elections, without any kind of consensus. Months of tensions begin in which most of the opposition once again distances itself from these preparations and warns that, without its approval, there will be no renewal of the National Assembly.

DECEMBER 6, 2020

On December 6, the parliamentary elections promoted by the Government are held, to which the opposition responds with a new consultation from December 5 to 12 to try to demonstrate that a majority of the population wants an end to the “usurpation” of Maduro.

Chavismo is easily opposed in these elections, again without the recognition of a large part of the international community.

JANUARY 2021

The division was revealed again the following month, since Chavismo appropriated the National Assembly at the same time that the large opposition groups, led by Guaidó, considered his mandate extended ‘de facto’. The opposition maintains its own Assembly, without real powers on a day-to-day basis.

During that year, support for Guaidó by his theoretical international partners ceased to be so explicit, although the United States continued to grant him the status of ‘president’ with which the opposition leader has continued to claim his political legitimacy.

JUNE 2022

The Democratic Unitary Platform, made up of the main opposition parties, proposes a primary process to choose the candidate for the Presidency in the presidential elections, originally scheduled for 2024. In the 2014 elections, the opposition managed to win a single candidacy — that of Henrique Capriles– less than two percentage points behind Maduro.

NOVEMBER 2022
At the beginning of the month, Maduro represented Venezuela at the UN climate conference in Egypt. After years in which he has only surrounded himself with like-minded leaders, he is greeted on camera by leaders critical of him, including the Frenchman Emmanuel Macron.

That same month, the government and the main opposition parties — included in the Democratic Unitary Platform — resumed political dialogue after years of estrangement. As a first agreement, it is proposed to unlock part of the resources withheld from Chavismo for years to advance on social issues.

DECEMBER 30, 2022
The growing discomfort in the opposition ranks due to the lack of progress in terms of democracy and Human Rights in the South American country led most of the deputies of the National Assembly in 2015 to vote in favor of the end of the interim Government of Guaidó.

This administration, with access to significant financial resources abroad, will come to an end on January 5. For Guaidó, it is a “leap into the void” that ultimately benefits Maduro.

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