Photo: El Universal retrieved

“There’s no doubt: Nicolás Maduro is an usurper. Therefore, I want to talk to the people of Venezuela to propose a plan,” said Juan Guaidó, Speaker of the National Assembly, in front of around 1,500 eager spectators, who cheered loudly in the open assembly.

“Yesterday, we bore witness to the international community’s support. They recognize the legitimacy of this elected Parliament, elected by more than 14 million people.The world isn’t going to be part of Maduro’s charade.”

The meeting didn’t start on time — but that goes without saying. The crowd waited for an hour and a half for the speakers to appear and do their thing. There was a lot more people than I expected, though, and when Juan Guaidó finally took the podium, it was like The New President of Venezuela had taken the stage. Massive cheers, with people actually calling him that way. Everyone seemed hungry for a chief.

More than hopeful, he seemed combative. He repeated the call made yesterday to the people and the Armed Forces: “This table cannot stand without all its legs: we’re talking to the military family, who also suffers this crisis. We call on the Armed Forces, who need to assume the responsibility. There’s someone usurping the presidency, someone who broke the chain of command, and you know it.”

“As President of the National Assembly, the only elected and legitimate power to represent the Venezuelan people, I have a responsibility to Venezuela: I stand by the Constitution and its Articles 233, 333 and 350, which gives me the legitimacy to exercise the office of the Presidency of the Republic, to call free elections and summon the people, the Armed Forces and the international community to make it a reality. But is it enough to stand by the Constitution in a dictatorship? It’s not. We call on the people of Venezuela and the Armed Forces to help us lead the way to assume the constitutional mandate.”

Many seemed confused by Guaidó’s message today. Some called it weak, unclear (“so is he president or not?”).

But, if you were expecting the guy to grab an improvised presidential sash and strap it across his chest, at a cabildo público, of all places, perhaps it’s time to bring it down a notch or two. He didn’t take office, but he did call for the right influences to build support for him to do so. Soon.

María Corina, your turn.

You’re not president just because you say so, and Guaidó knows it.

Adding considerable confusion, Luis Almagro welcomed him as interim President of Venezuela, in accordance with Article 233 of the National Constitution, and expressed the support of the international community.

“We summon the people to the streets,” Guaidó said, surrounded by his partners from his own, and other opposition parties and organizations, including Rafaela Requesens (brother of jailed deputy, Juan Requesens), Nicmer Evans, Marlon Díaz, Miguel Pizarro, William Dávila, and others. “We have to fight together: nurses, students, doctors, civilians.”

This is the first time in nearly two years that the National Assembly makes an open call to the people to protest against Maduro’s regime. Guaidó called on everyone to protest this January 23, iconic date in Venezuelan democracy, and only time will tell if the effects of this episode resemble somehow those of 1958.

 

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25 COMMENTS

    • He basically said I am the legitimate president of Venezuela, but I can’t actually exercise the powers of the executive office without the help of the people, military and the international community.

  1. This is a typical ritual in Venezuelan history , repeated many times , someone wants to be appointed president but doesnt just declare himself president , even if he can claim a legal title to the role , he delays his declaration while the whole word wails and begs for hitm to assumme the mantle of office , so far Almagro , the exiled TSJ , MCM and others are adding their voices to the demand that he assumme the presidency , he needs to be acclaimed president ….!!

  2. Another LOST OPPORTUNITY. Do these guys have any idea how to make a statement, a splash????

    He should have put on the Presidential Sash and declared

    I AM THE PRESIDENT….. and then

    open a curtain behind him and out comes a line of 10 other Men, women, and children

    ALL WITH THE PRESIDENTAL SASH (Maybe with a pillow under their shirts, and a painted on mustache)

    PROCLAIMING THEY ARE THE TRUE PRESIDENT !!!!

    That would be HEADLINE NEWS !!!

    FARCE MEETS FARCE

    • That’s what AMLO did in Mexico when he lost to Calderon, and THAT was a farce.

      This guy is doing it in the age old tradition of mounting a rebellion against the false king. I’m impressed.

      • Your impressed by what?

        Being the only one of a handful of people on planet earth that heard Juan Guaidó speak?

        well, you are right. THAT IS IMPRESSIVE.

          • No thanks, but obviously you are a Poppins fan.

            and by the way, how did that “Farce” that AMLO pulled turn out?

            or should I say, PRESIDENT AMLO

  3. Revolution needs a leader. At least he stood up and challenged Maduro. He called for street demonstration on Jan 23. Will the people heed? This is an opportunity for the suffering masses to get rid of this dictatorship; perhaps the People’s Last Stand.

    If you don’t have any alternative grab whatever leader you can. Oscar Perez isn’t coming back to you.

  4. The dollar is over 3000 right now. I said earlier it would be 2500 by Monday but boy was I was out to lunch. Might be as high as 5000 by Monday. Maybe waiting until the 23rd is a wise plan. Wait until the shit really hits the fan. Anyone selling anything right now has doubled or tripled the price and they are not even sure if they are going to lose money or not. For example yesterday a case of beer cost 9000 Soberanos. Today it’s 25000 Soberanos. And liquor store owners (only people still open here) are still not sure if that was enough of a markup to cover the free fall inflation. good I say. Enough boiling the frog. Let’s have a short sharp shock and knee jerk people into reacting. Prices by the 23 will be too high for anyone except those earning in dollars to pay for anything. People are selling, borrowing or stealing whatever they can as we speak to buy food to weather this out. That’s the crazy thing about hyper inflation. You can’t even guess what prices will be like 2 weeks from now. The sky is the limit. Crazy shit. For sure this time boys and girls: something HAS to give! It’s the hyperinflation that’s going to kick the shit out of us and stimulate the change. And no food or anything coming in. Everyone is saying you have to be insane to sell anything right now. Just don’t know where the dollar is going to stop. Next step is the looting, next civil war, the store keepers fighting the have nots to protect their merchandise. Those who know me know I’m not a crazy person who spews crazy shit. This is the beginning of the end. Totally unsustainable, it’s going to come to a grinding halt very shortly. That’s why the 2 week wait. People will be good and hungry by then and ready to take to the streets again. Oh and if they kill Juan, that will only make things worse. Hang on to your shorts ladies and gents.

    • This could be the end game. Within weeks there may be hunger riots in the streets and the National Guard who are hungry themselves aren’t going to stop them. Even those who have money won’t be able to buy food as looting keeps shops closed. Maduro will try to impose price controls but nobody will heed. He will pump even more electronic money into the system but it will only pour fuel on the hyperinflation fire. The economy grinds to a halt as nobody can see any point in working. The time is ripe for street revolution to remove him and he won’t see what’s coming.

      The alternative is famine. Are the Venezuelan people going to sit in their homes and accept starvation?

      • “The alternative is famine. Are the Venezuelan people going to sit in their homes and accept starvation?”

        The answer is YES, that’s exactly what they will do and have been doing for the last 20 years!!!

    • Marc, I posted in another thread that a couple of weeks ago I bought a number of boxes of eggs at 31,000 per box, or 86 bs S to the egg. Yesterday that same seller quoted me 67,000 bs S…….186 per egg.

      I’m amazed they even quoted, but guess they did so because the things have a relatively short shelf life.

      We’re selling maiz trillado right now, but only in very limited quantiites. I’ve had offers to buy maiz by the ton but I’m not selling unless they’re paying in dollars.

  5. Nothing will happen, no one will be in the streets on the 23th other than for haciendo colas como siempre. Inflation will get even more crazy and again nothing will happen. This Juan Guaidó guy blabbing in front of a laughable 1500 people ain’t no president nor will he ever be one. Nicky &co. are on their way for the next 20 years bcuz the Cubans ordered it and they follow orders as they’ve always did. There ain’t gonna be no revolt, mass protests or civil war, things will be as they were with a pueblo that JUST DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT. Venezuela has been a dictatorship for many years and will continue to be so.

    @Marc; you are wrong at so many points I couldn’t be bothered listening them all.

    • Maybe. A hungry human being is the most miserable and unpredictable creature to ever have walked the earth. I hope so(that I’m wrong), maybe baby.

      • I hope so too but then again I’ve been hoping that for at least 10 years and I’ve seen nothing that makes me believe things are about to change for the better. If I can collect 5 dollars for every single time I’ve seen people stating this is the end game I could retire today. This ain’t no end game and el pueblo ain’t going to no streets on the 23th to protest. This dictatorship is well established and in it for the very long run like their socialist marxist masters in la Havana.

  6. The problem with this kind of thing is that I can 100% agree, on a rational level, with what Guaidó is saying. Hell, he is more courageous than me.

    But you dont go to a mass of people and tell them to risk life and limb, which is what you are doing, with common sense and a rational approach in which you tell them that you are very well prepared to lead them if they somehow find in themselves to move.

    Yes, we dont want the democratic leadership of Venezuela to be like the Chavistas, but come on, at least learn a bit about how to movilize people laser like in one direction. You want a metaphor? A band of birds dont discuss first if they are going to fly and who is going to be at the tip and the date they will start it. They see another bird moving with determination, and follow it. Yes, sounds stupid, but that is people, they would endanger their own lifes going behind somebody that looks like he would not be stopped by any self-doubt or practical consideration.

    Lets hope against hope that even a fumbled first step gets somewhere.

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