Venezuela Now Has Two Presidents

Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.
Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Fernando Llano / AP Photo
Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019.
Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declares himself interim president of the nation until elections can be held during a rally demanding President Nicolas Maduro's resignation in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Fernando Llano / AP Photo

Venezuela Now Has Two Presidents

It was a dramatic day in Venezuela as the leader of the national assembly, Juan Guaidó, marshalled large-scale protests and declared himself acting president, in direct opposition to current President Nicolás Maduro. The United States, Canada and several Latin American countries have recognized Guaidó’s claim.  He promises free elections, economic reforms and amnesty for military officials that help push Maduro from power. The European Union has refrained from endorsing. Russia, China, Mexico, Honduras and Cuba support Maduro, who gave U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. We’ll discuss the crisis with David Smilde from the Washington Office on Latin America. He co-edited the volume Venezuela's Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics and Culture under Chávez.