Are Venezuelans white 1

The spirit of optimism in Venezuela has long since fizzled out

It has been a year since the bourgeois opposition leader Juan Guaidó was sworn in by the parliament as counter-president in Venezuela. But little is left of the vigor that drove millions onto the streets in the hope that the days of ruler Nicolás Maduro and his socialist mafia clique were numbered. For most Venezuelans, the everyday struggle for survival in a now dollarized black market economy is the focus of their interest. In the province in particular, there are still power outages, water scarcity and scarcity management.

The flow of refugees continues unabated. According to the UN, 4.5 million of the 32 million Venezuelans now live abroad. The divided opposition, which had repeatedly worked towards the overthrow of Maduro, has gambled away credibility and must now reorient itself. Despite isolated defectors, the military continues to support Maduro.

Important item

2020, it became apparent at the beginning of January, will be dominated by the conflict over parliament. It is the last bourgeois bastion and has to be re-elected this year. The conflict began with the regular election of the presidium at the beginning of January. The post is important because the President of Parliament is constitutionally entitled to succeed if the President is absent. In addition, the parliament must fill the electoral council and the highest judicial posts - which Maduro disregards, however - and approve the international treaties on the exploitation of mineral resources such as oil and gold. Otherwise, investors run the risk of losing their money if there is a change in power. Apparently, Russia in particular had urged Maduro to bring parliament under its control.

In 2015, the opposition won 112 of the 167 seats in parliament in a landslide victory - it was the last free elections in Venezuela. Maduro gradually sabotaged parliament - the result in three constituencies was annulled. In 2017, Maduro and the constituent assembly created a submissive parallel parliament.

Lucrative business

In the past few months, a dozen or so opposition MPs have been bought with cash or lucrative deals to import food parcels (claps). This group, popularly known as the "clap faction", tried to take over the parliamentary presidency at the beginning of January. But there was no proper vote with a quorum and the necessary majority - despite this, Russia recognized this leadership. Meanwhile, Guaidó called a parallel meeting at which 99 MPs voted for him. He remains the legitimate Speaker of Parliament for the United States, Europe, and much of Latin America.

The situation is made even more complex by the geopolitical interests clashing in Venezuela. On the one hand, there is Cuba, which is dependent on the Venezuelan oil drop and advises Maduro strategically. Russia, which now handles a large part of Venezuela's oil business, Turkey, where the gold reserves are going, and lender China are important business partners for Maduro.

US sanctions against the leadership

The counter-faction led by the USA supports Guaidó and has imposed sanctions on the leadership in Caracas. In Latin America, Maduro has almost completely lost its allies due to a change of government - only Nicaragua and Cuba are fully behind him, Mexico and Argentina are neutral. But so far neither pressure, threats nor dialogues have opened up a way out of the political and economic crisis.

Now Guaidó wants to increase the pressure on Maduro again with international support and is currently on tour, which also takes him to Europe, despite the travel ban. Talks were planned in London on Tuesday, and his tour also took him to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Guaidó is also expected in Spain. (Sandra Weiss, January 22nd, 2020)