Venezuela’s Interim Government on Verge of Dissolving

Venezuela’s political opposition voted on December 22 to dissolve the country’s interim government. This would strip Juan Guaidó of his title as acting president.

  • Three out of the four major opposition groups supported the move.
  • The Popular Will party, which Guaidó used to belong to, opposes the move.

The move was supposed to be formalized this week in another meeting of the opposition. But Guaidó used disputed “presidential powers” to postpone it. The final meeting to strip Guaidó of his role is now scheduled for January 3. It is currently unknown who, if anybody, will replace him.

The background: The interim government was declared in 2019 following the 2018 presidential election. That year, the incumbent, Socialist strongman Nicolás Maduro, won a new term. The election was most likely rigged. In response, Venezuela’s legislature declared Juan Guaidó, then president of the National Assembly, acting president. Guaidó had little political control in Venezuela itself. But his presidency received the recognition of several important Western governments, including the United States and most of the European Union. This gave him select perks, including access to Venezuela’s offshore holdings.

U.S. involvement: News broke in October of the U.S. negotiating with the Maduro regime for normalization. Washington’s offer included access to Venezuela’s offshore holdings; this means a de facto recognition of his government’s legitimacy. For America, Guaidó’s most important supporter, to be improving its relations with Maduro meant the interim government’s writing was on the wall. The December 22 decision confirms this.

Learn more: Read “America and Venezuela in Negotiations for Normalization.”