Venezuela: Guaido accused of plotting with the money of u.s. sanctions

Venezuela: Guaido accusé de comploter avec l'argent des sanctions américaines

Two months after being proclaimed by the interim president of Venezuela, the opponent is Juan Guaido, supported by fifty countries, including the United States, is accused by the government to use the money of u.s. sanctions to fund “terrorist operations” in the country.

Since 23 January, Venezuela faces the most severe crisis of its history with a sluggish economy, a currency wrecked and shortages of everything, account of two “presidents”: Juan Guaido and the head of State in office, Nicolas Maduro.

Both had summoned Saturday rallies of their supporters in Caracas “against terrorism” to Mr. Maduro, Barcelona (north-east) for Juan Guaido, who began a tour of the country intended, account there, to carry “up to Miraflores,” the presidential palace.

Mr. Maduro and his government have accused Juan Guaido and his right arm, the member Roberto Marrero arrested Thursday by the intelligence services of fomenting terrorist operations with money from the State blocked by u.s. sanctions.

According to Caracas, the United States has blocked around $ 30 billion which he is entitled.

– “enormous sums” –

The Information minister Jorge Rodriguez said at the television, hold evidence from “the killers” recruited in el Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras “thanks to enormous sums of money” have been sent in neighbouring Colombia to conduct “selective assassinations” and “sabotage” of public services, venezuelans.

“The conversations between Guaido and Marrero prove that a billion (dollars) have been allocated” to the payment of “criminals”, has he hammered.

“Here we are, 60 days later, standing!”, exclaimed Nicolas Maduro at the forum of the official gathering. Singing the national anthem, “Glory to the brave people”, he started: “Listen to this in the White House!”

“We continue in the street (..) we continue the struggle,” had indicated earlier Mr. Guaido on Twitter, accompanied by a video showing greeting his supporters.

At the beginning of march, Mr. Guaido was 61% in favour, compared to 14% for Mr. Maduro, according to a survey by the institute Datanalisis.

“Such a scenario was unimaginable in 2018”, recognises the analyst Mariano de Alba. But, even “weakened”, Mr Maduro “has managed to maintain cohesion astonishing in the face of adversity”.

Especially the strong popular mobilization and the clear support from Washington and the european Union, in particular, have not shaken the loyalty of the army to power.

Juan Guaido, an engineer of 35 years who describes Mr Maduro of”usurper” and considers his re-election fraudulent, remains the president of the national Assembly, the only body dominated by the opposition.

Since 23 January, more than ever, Nicolas Maduro latched onto the army, his main support, waving the threat of a military intervention as “imperialist” on the part of the United States – a threat fuelled by president Donald Trump saying several times that “all options are on the table”.

– state of alert –

However, neither the EU nor the Group Lima (13 Latin american countries and Canada), which support Guaido, do not want a military operation.

For his part, Juan Guaido is also willing to ask parliament to authorize a military intervention. And he made him to approve the “state of alert” which, theoretically, paves the way for external intervention in humanitarian assistance.

Tens of tons of food and medicines offered by Us are stored in the gates of the country and blocked by the authorities.

The armed forces, to which political power has conferred wide-ranging powers in the political and economic control of the oil industry – Venezuela has the largest reserves in the world, has reaffirmed its “loyalty absolute” to the government and ignored calls from Washington and Mr. Guaido promising amnesty and lifting of the sanctions in case of rallying.

The leader, a socialist of his side, former bus driver and trade unionist 56-year-old, trained in Cuba, has been systematically put forward the support of Russia and China, the main creditors of the countries that systematically take his party in international bodies like the security Council of the united Nations.

The rupture between the army and the power of attorney has not taken place “because no credible offers has allowed the military elite to believe in the possibility of a change” of regime without its risks, writes the president of Datanalisis, Luis Vicente Leon.

For this expert, suggests that Maduro will not go away only by the force encourages the opposition to refuse any form of negotiations to “cause a rift”: a scenario unpopular according to him, but “always present” out of the crisis.

– Major breakdown –

In the meantime Venezuela is sinking a little more. On April 28, will enter into force the embargo on oil exports, which provide 96% of the State budget.

“The economic situation will terribly worsen and the population subjected to a further degradation of his standard of living,” says Mario De Alba, who simultaneously announced a “crackdown” increased.

For Vicente Leon, the time plays against Maduro with the risk of a “social explosion”.

But the passing of time is also risky for Mr. Guaido, because “the more the country will deteriorate, the more the patience of the population will wane”.