Venezuela crisis: Maduro cuts ties with US after it recognises opposition leader
The crisis in Venezuela has reached what could become its tipping point, with the opposition leader and head of the National Assembly Juan Guaido declaring himself president during a day of mass protests on Wednesday. Since this announcement, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Paraguay have recognized the opposition government, while the E.U. restated a call for new elections. Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey, China, and Russia have voiced support for the current Maduro regime. The new government and president Trump have urged the military to back the opposition government, but it has remained with the Maduro regime thus far (aside from a small defection several days prior that was quickly shut down). The Venezuelan Defense Minister tweeted that “the nation’s soldiers don’t accept a president imposed by obscure interest, not one self-proclaimed outside of the law.” How the crisis plays out in the next days will depend heavily upon how the military reacts, and whether soldiers at the lower levels will defect from their generals. If the army stays solidly in the Maduro camp, however, the current crisis and stalemate will likely continue, barring the unlikely influx of foreign military intervention.