Maduro VS Guaido: Who Will Win The Battle?


On January 5th 2020, Interim President Juan Guaido tried to get into the Venezuelan National Assembly. (Source NBC news)

By Helena Palis

Government in Venezuela is complicated. The country is under the power of what some people consider “communist” president Nicolas Maduro. As Venezuelan vice president, Maduro rose to power after ex-president Hugo Chavez died, and then was elected on April 14th, 2013, and presided over the country as its economy crumbled, leading to mass migration out of the country.

Maduro’s reelection in 2018 was extremely disputed. People said there was a lot of interference from his government.

After Maduro’s many years in power and several years of failed protests to take Maduro out of power, Juan Guaido, from the opposition party, was selected as the president by the members of the National Assembly on January 23rd , 2019.

Talks between the government and the opposition, held between May and August of 2019, made no progress. The US imposed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela, including a freeze on all Venezuelan government assets in the US and a bar on business transactions with Maduro’s government. However, the sanctions have failed to weaken Maduro enough to drive him from office and some analysts argue that they offer Maduro a convenient scapegoat to blame for the dire state of Venezuela’s economy.

In January of 2020, when the time came for reelection by the National Assembly, the national guard, directed by Maduro, formed outside of the National Assembly building to not let Guaido in. Inside the lawmakers exchanged blows while Maduro’s associate, Luis Eduardo Parra, was elected President of the Assembly, tightening Maduro’s grip on power.

Nevertheless, some businesses are still hopeful that Maduro will leave the government and they will be able to thrive yet again. My aunt, who continues to live in Venezuela, reports that there has been some talk that major companies such as the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht have been investing in open parcels to start building new things around metropolitan areas of the city of Caracas.

Nonetheless, senior Michel Linares, who left Venezuela in August of 2016 since his parents could not sustain their business any longer, is not expecting to go back anytime soon. “I feel like the government and Guaido are playing around with people’s feelings,” he said.  “I do not see them taking any action to change the political and economical climate in Venezuela.”

Senior and Venezuelan Renato Muno, who said he lost all hope that the intense situation will change, said, “When it comes to a government that has such a tight grip in all the areas of the government, dialog will not solve any issues. You have to take bigger actions in order to kick them out of power for good.” He added that most of the time he feels the impulse to help, yet there aren’t a lot of ways to help from a distance.



Venezuela’s vanishing middle class

In a normal society you can find three basic types of social classes: a lower class, a middle class, and a high class. Nevertheless in a society such as Venezuela, with its shrinking middle class, there is a big division between classes: you either go around digging through trash bags for food or you could be sipping champagne at a new restaurant, bar or club that is filled with foreign business people, local government insiders, and the people that form Venezuela’s higher class.

In an article titled “Venezuela’s Capital Is Booming. Is the Revolution Over?” and published February 2nd of 2020, in The New York Times, it was reported that recently there has been an economic boom in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. But around the outskirts of the city, people still struggle with lack of resources such as water and electricity. (by Helena Palis)