May 22, 2022 8:04 pm

Juan Guaido. “Our invitation is for Russia to abandon the warmongering path and its imperial attitude”

CARACAS.- Juan Guaido This week he celebrates three years as head of the presidency in charge of Venezuela in the midst of the new “cold war”, which returns the oil country to the global strategic board. The Russian threats come precisely after two victories for Guaidó: against Chavismo in Barinas, the cradle of the revolution, and against his internal enemies after ratifying his continuity as head of the interim government.

Always in the eye of the hurricane, the 38-year-old opposition leader details to LA NACION how the fight against an all-powerful regime entrenched in the power of the military and with the unrestricted support of the “bad guys”, as Anne Applebaurn baptized, is like. to world autocracies.

-Moscow has responded to the global call of the presidency in charge of what it considers to be a threat of intervention. Do you fear that Nicolás Maduro will be able to accept the Russian invitation to deploy troops in Venezuela and thus strengthen his military power?

-If accepted, it would be evidence of how totalitarian regimes put peace and security in the hemisphere at risk by being protected by regimes like Russia. Our crisis is solved with free elections, not beating the drums of war.

-Paradoxically, Russia also supports the negotiations in Mexico between the government and the opposition, like a good part of the international community…

-Our invitation is for Russia to abandon the warmongering path and its imperial attitude, and cooperate with us to resume the negotiation in Mexico. A comprehensive political agreement arising from this mechanism, and backed by the Russian Federation, is the best chance we have to overcome our tragedy, restore democracy and restore well-being to our people.

– Is there any progress to return to Mexico?

-We are in a kind of frozen stand-by. Our expectation is to resume the negotiations for the good of the Venezuelans.

-Meanwhile, the regional bad guys advance: last week they were partying in Managua during the “self-coronation” of Daniel Ortega. Applebaum assures that they are winning. Are they invincible?

-As I said at the Democracy Summit, there are more of us “good guys”, but we must take action, we cannot stop at declarations and we have to improve the mechanisms of pressure on dictatorships and not only with sanctions. Dictators must be openly rejected and the front line of struggle must be strengthened, the first line of rescue for democracy, and mechanisms must be sought to defend them. At this moment the world dilemma, although they want to pigeonhole it there, is not left or right, but rather approaches a theme of democracy versus dictatorship or authoritarianism.

-In the latest Supermustache cartoons, the Bolivarian superhero fights against the Empire and against you to get vaccines against Covid. It seems that Maduro is already launching himself into 2024 and also replacing Hugo Chávez as an object of worship.

-That is Maduro, an unfortunate caricature of a dictator without a people, who does not even control his territory, without international support, singled out for crimes against humanity. The most unfortunate thing is that they use resources to indoctrinate children, especially, they use State propaganda to distort reality. The first thing that dies in a dictatorship is the truth and because of that propaganda the first thing to do is counteract it.

-How can the historic opposition victory in Barinas affect the challenge against Maduro?

-It is a very important victory that will set the tone for this year. For the first time in 22 years, the Chavez family and the dictatorship in Barinas are defeated. And not just once, but twice. And without (electoral) conditions, with an enormous disadvantage and vulnerability of the population of Barinas and Venezuelans in general. It was undoubtedly a demonstration of an organized leadership aware of its vulnerability and of a citizenry truly fed up with the dictatorship. It is very important to maintain the fighting spirit, the majority of the people want change. What happened confirms us in several things. First, that there are no conditions in Venezuela, since it had to be won twice for the dictatorship to recognize it. And second, we are also talking about a breaking point, because the military did not have a negative impact on the new process. It is something that may have to do with the International Criminal Court and with the overwhelming majority that demonstrated.

-Very few times like now have the internal differences in Chavismo been palpable…

-The break in the PSUV is something that is palpable, a relative break because we know that they control the armed forces, control the economic apparatus of the country and even the para-state that has founded the dictatorship with the extraction of gold and smuggling. The break within the revolution is essential to consolidate a transition. The internal struggle in Chavismo already existed, the difference is that now it is public.

-What is your balance after this electoral process?

-Saying that elections are the political solution is half true: an election can be a solution to the conflict in Venezuela if it comes from a power dispute, if it is to defeat Maduro. That is why we are insisting on an agreement in Mexico. Today we have the possibility of a plebiscitary event to leave Maduro and an early presidential election.

-That favorable vote provoked the enormous anger of Maduro, who has once again demanded jail for you. With 244 political prisoners, what prevents the regime from stopping him?

-The same thing that has prevented it in recent years: our popular support, the little support it has among the people, international recognition and the same unanimous political ratification. But the risk is always present. They have acted against my family, against my work team… It is a latent risk.

-Is Guaidó going to lead the recall process against Maduro that some opponents propose?

-We must differentiate the activation of the recall from the possibility of an election to leave Maduro, which is what we need for the Venezuelan people to express themselves as in Barinas. In addition, Maduro is going to try to block it. We are going to lead the exit of Maduro by electoral means in this 2022 without circumscribing it to a single possibility, because we have many: the advanced presidential ones and the plebiscite mechanism to get rid of the dictator.

– Do you maintain your position of not participating in a presidential election?

-For me the priority is not to know who is going to be the candidate, but to achieve the presidential election where I am sure that we are going to defeat the dictatorship.

-Do you feel the same hopelessness that is breathed among Venezuelans inside and outside the country?

-In my case, no. I don’t call it hopelessness, in any case frustration. We have been waiting for political change in Venezuela not only for three years, but for a long time. In some moments we have felt very close. But we are the majority and we have alternatives to get out of the dictatorship, which is weak, as Barinas has shown.

-Three years and always in the eye of the hurricane, has it been worth it?

-Undoubtedly. The sacrifice and the risk are enormous, my family has suffered it firsthand. Being in the eye of the hurricane is complex, because from the eye of the hurricane you see the destruction around you. And the fight for freedom is always worth it. And we’ll keep going until we get it back.

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