One Big Thing: Should the United States Continue Support to President Juan Guaidó in Venezuela?
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What is it:
- On June 23, 2020, President Trump surprised many with his comments about a potential meeting with Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro. He later toned down his comments, but still indicated his willingness to meet with Maduro.
- The U.S government’s policy is to support President Juan Guaidó and Republicans and Democrats broadly support the Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and Trump’s comments were unexpected.
- Venezuela has also been hit hard by the coronavirus as the current economic and refugee crisis left the country’s residents and healthcare system unprepared to handle the high volume of cases. Worse, Maduro has used the crisis to tighten his grip on Venezuela’s institutions and limit the opposition’s political participation.
Why is it important?
- Bipartisan voices from the U.S. government and the human rights community have shown their support for Juan Guaidó in the 2018 election which many believe Maduro to have rigged.
- President Guaidó has gained legitimacy not only from the United States, but most of Latin America and Western Europe. Countries like Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom all back Guaidó, while Russia and China continue to back Maduro.
- While sitting on the world’s largest offshore oil reserves, Venezuela has economically collapsed, forcing millions of Venezuelans to flee into neighboring countries. These refugees are some of the most affected by COVID-19 as the international community has turned its back.
What can you do?
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