US President Donald Trump appointed Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s supposed “interim president” in January 2019, despite the fact that the little-known right-wing opposition politician had never won a single vote in a presidential election.
Under President Joe Biden, the US government continued formally recognizing Guaidó, until Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parallel “National Assembly” voted to oust him in December 2022.
This marked the end to a nearly four-year US-led coup attempt against Venezuela’s leftist Chavista government.
Yet Washington has still refused to formally recognize Venezuela’s democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro – who always remained recognized by the United Nations, throughout the coup attempt.
Instead, State Department spokesman and CIA veteran Ned Price announced that the US only recognizes Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parallel “National Assembly” – which is competing with the Venezuelan government’s own National Assembly, which is part of the constitutional Venezuelan state recognized by the UN.
Geopolitical Economy Report editor-in-chief Ben Norton discussed the end of Guaidó with Venezuelan journalist Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza, who runs the independent news website Orinoco Tribune.
They analyzed the economic situation in the oil-rich South American country, which suffers under an illegal US embargo. The top UN expert on unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, reported that Western sanctions caused the Venezuelan government’s revenue “to shrink by 99% with the country currently living on 1% of its pre-sanctions income”.