Juan Guaido’s Political Suicide

President Juan Guaido is tearing apart what was very costly to build

Juan Guaido participates in a session this Tuesday at the Federal Legislative Palace, Caracas (Venezuela). EFE/ Rayner Peña

Spanish – It was difficult to build an interim government. We all committed ourselves to put the narrative together. We did not tolerate those who said “self-proclaimed” and, before being a legislator, Juan Guaido was the president of Venezuela. Our president.

This seemed like the best opportunity to oust Chavism that has been ruling Venezuelans for twenty years. The confirmation of an institutional framework that would assert itself over the illicit Maduro who became the usurper seemed to offer an extremely favorable context. Further, almost all democracies around the world pledged their support for this nascent but legitimate institutional structure.

But it doesn’t matter that a long list of countries support Guaido because the world’s heavyweight, the United States, led that coalition. As Luis Henrique Ball rightly says, this is the only 800-pound gorilla. And the White House took the initiative hours before Guaido took oath in front of millions.

The interim presidency started with momentum and life. It was a country arming itself again. Spaces that were snatched from the now usurpers. The embassy in Washington and the consulate in New York. Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. The Organization of American States, the Lima Group, and the European Parliament. The Inter-American Development Bank. CITGO, etc.

But what began with vigor gradually eroded to become a caricature, rather blurred and murky. The interim government of Juan Guaido has dwindled dramatically, and this has mainly been due to an inexplicable self-destructive tendency.

Unable to control its suicidal impulses, the governing party, Popular Will, ended up immersed in adventures that undermined its relations with society and, to a large extent, with the main international supporters.

It all began with the strategic catastrophe of 23rd February when erroneous calculations exposed the operational incompetence of Leopoldo Lopez and Guaido to Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, and the United States. This shortsightedness and excessive naivety were ratified almost two months later when, also, due to mistakes, the interim government added another failure to its record with the clumsy military uprising of Altamira. The military feat of 30th April will, by the way, always be tarnished by the delinquent purposes that were later revealed by publications including The Wall Street Journal: the construction of a transitional process that comprised the criminals Padrino Lopez and Maikel Moreno.

From then on, the project headed by Guaido began to wither. A project which, like any other leadership, largely depended on the trust of the people. For the first time, the truth became deeply uncomfortable for the interim government.

The very society that had placed its trust in Guaido received a big blow shortly after when, through leaks, it learned that the opposition leaders had been engaging in conversations with the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro for weeks. The excessively clumsy handling of the turmoil led, of course, to a drastic weakening of confidence in Guaido. Most importantly, however, relations with key international allies were also punctured: Colombia, Brazil, and the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, learned about the talks from the media. The same goes for the entire Lima Group.

We are now entering the episode of corruption, which, in short, is what has most tarnished the performance of the interim government. The dramatic truth is that Juan Guaido has been in office for less than a year and has already been involved in at least three major corruption scandals. We cannot talk about this stage of our contemporary history without mentioning, first, the case of embezzlement of funds in Cucuta, the allocation of Monomers in the hands of the parties, and, finally, the plot of extortion and bribes of opposition legislators of the National Assembly. If Guaido wants, he can avoid the presidency’s relations with people as opaque as Henry Ramos Allup and Manuel Rosalesso that everything does not sound so filthy and tragic.

These vices, which indicate dangerous, self-destructive impulses, were what forced Tamara Suju to distance herself and later Ricardo Hausmann to do the same. The degeneration of the process, tainted by corruption, cronyism, mediocrity, and complicity, was what made Calderon Berti so uncomfortable and what finally ends up isolating us again.

What cost so much to build, is now being torn to pieces by President Juan Guaido himself. If we all invest every effort in building the legitimate institutional framework represented in the interim government, now it is the same interim government that, by its tricks, quite similar to those of Chavism, has lost the spot in the Inter-American Development Bank, the embassy in the Czech Republic and that of Colombia. It is the same interim government that has dynamited its relations with the Government of Colombia, the Government of Brazil, the rest of the Lima Group, and the general secretariat of the Organization of American States.

Neither in Bogota nor Brasilia do they trust the interim government any longer. And not in Washington: neither in the main office of the Organization of American States nor in the White House, as Bloomberg told us.

And one group is responsible: the suicidal group. Those who, with their impulses, have thwarted what it cost us Venezuelans so much to build. The interim government is falling apart, and the blame lies with the interim government itself.

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