Venezuela’s Guaido Seeks Coalition to Oust Maduro Regime

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela National Assembly President Juan Guaido called for a broad coalition to form a “national emergency government” to replace Nicolas Maduro’s regime and get financing to save lives as the coronavirus crisis spreads.

Such a government “must be broad and include all the necessary political and social sectors to confront this severe emergency,” Guaido said in a video message published on his Twitter account on Saturday night.

Guaido said his team has developed what’s being called the Jose Maria Vargas plan to deal with the coronavirus response. It includes requesting $1.2 billion from multilateral organizations and obtaining medical supplies and food, making money transfers to people staying at home, and constructing water wells for hospitals.

Maduro won’t be able to obtain any financing for such projects because he isn’t internationally recognized and was indicted with 14 key allies last week by the U.S. for drug trafficking, Guaido said. Around 60 countries recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

It’s yet another attempt by Guaido to up the ante on Maduro, who has resisted the best efforts of his main political opponent for more than a year -- an emerged all the stronger for it. An uprising Guaido tried to lead in April last year collapsed after he failed to get enough support from the armed forces.

The recent U.S. indictment against Maduro makes any political negotiation unlikely as it materially increases the exit costs for him and other key officials, Eurasia Group said.

Guaido called on the military to join his broad coalition, saying that the legislative body he leads will approve a law to promote a democratic transition that includes “guarantees” for regime officials.

Venezuela had 119 cases of coronavirus and two deaths as of March 28.

“The time is now,” Guaido said.

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