Washington calls on Guaido to step aside to chase Maduro

Juan Guaido, in Caracas, Venezuela, March 10.
Juan Guaido, in Caracas, Venezuela, March 10. Matias Delacroix / AP

Faced with the failure of their strategy to drive Nicolas Maduro out of power, the United States called, Tuesday, March 31, for the creation of a transitional government in Venezuela, asking their ally Juan Guaido to step aside awaiting elections "Free and just".

Since January 2019, Washington has recognized the opponent as interim president of the country in crisis and has continued to tighten its sanctions to obtain the departure of the socialist leader. But, despite the support of more than fifty countries, it is an impasse. American diplomacy therefore proposed a new Tuesday “Framework for democratic transition”.

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According to this scheme, Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido, who are vying for the presidency, should " both " immediately renounce executive power, entrusted for "A period of transition" has a " Board of state " set up by "National Assembly elected officials from both camps"said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This State Council would be responsible for organizing presidential and legislative elections "Free and just" within six to twelve months.

The administration of Donald Trump, who "Maduro diet" its main bane in Latin America, however, confirmed its support for Juan Guaido, who would remain president of the National Assembly during this transition and would then be allowed to run for president. "He is the most popular politician in Venezuela, and if there was an election today, he would have an incredibly good result", Mike Pompeo even said to the press.

Juan Guaido reacted on Twitter by calling Nicolas Maduro to "Accept the proposal of the international community".

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Proposal immediately rejected by Caracas

But the Caracas government immediately rejected it. "Venezuela is a free, sovereign, independent and democratic country, which does not accept and will never accept any form of trusteeship from a foreign government", was offended the head of the Venezuelan diplomacy, Jorge Arreaza, denouncing a plan "Extravagant".

A plan that seems all the more doomed than the Americans have made clear that they still want the socialist president to leave. "Nicolas Maduro must leave", hammered Mike Pompeo. “We have always said that Nicolas Maduro would never govern Venezuela again. "

In fact, the American proposal would not formally prohibit him from running for a future presidential election. But "It is impossible that Nicolas Maduro be returned to power if the Venezuelans really have a say in their future and elect their leaders", assured the American emissary for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, based on polls which he credits only with "12 % to 15 % " voting intentions. The diplomat also said the United States would respect the outcome of an election held as part of such a process.

Promise of gradual lifting of sanctions

In exchange for an agreement on their plan, the Americans promise to gradually lift their draconian sanctions as the transition takes place. But until then they do not intend to drop their guard, on the contrary – as proof, Nicolas Maduro has just been charged with "Narcoterrorism" by the American justice system and a bonus of 15 million dollars was promised for his arrest.

"Our sanctions will remain in place, and will be tightened, until the Maduro regime accepts a real political transition", warned Mike Pompeo.

To show that the Trump administration is not letting go of its ally, Elliott Abrams assures in a column published by the Wall street journal that the American proposal is based on a "Solution towards the restoration of democracy" advanced last year by Camp Guaido itself during negotiations with the opposing camp. However, this idea had been rejected by the Maduro camp, and the discussions had finally collapsed.

"The United States does not support any political party in Venezuela", further assured the American envoy, explaining that all the parties, including that of Nicolas Maduro, "Should be able to participate in free and fair elections on an equal basis with others". "It means ending the unfair prosecution that has forced dozens of members of parliament into exile, four of whom are incarcerated", he warned.

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This new American diplomatic offensive also occurs the same day that Juan Guaido was summoned, for Thursday, by the Venezuelan justice in an investigation into a "Attempted coup" denounced at the end of March by the authorities after "The discovery in Colombia of a war arsenal intended for Venezuela".

The World with AFP


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