Venezuelan opposition votes to dissolve Guaido-led ‘interim government’

© Leo Alvarez, AFP

The Venezuelan opposition on Friday dissolved the "interim government" led by Juan Guaido, once the popular and internationally recognized face of a failed drive to oust leftist leader Nicolas Maduro.

The vote came in an online session of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, a body elected in 2015 and now largely symbolic as it was replaced by a legislature loyal to Maduro.

The tally was 72 in favor of dissolving the interim government, 29 against and eight abstentions.

Almost four years ago, in January 2019, Guaido won the recognition of more than 50 nations including the United States as the legitimate albeit acting leader of Venezuela, after widely disputed presidential elections that kept Maduro in power.

But while the opposition holds the purse strings to some of Venezuela's assets abroad, Guaido's failure to find a winning strategy to oust Maduro has caused his public support to plummet.

Maduro is blamed for overseeing an oppressive regime and running Venezuela's economy into chaos and poverty for years, with widespread shortages of food and medicine and other essentials.

And Guaido's international backers, led by the United States, have adopted a more nuanced approach. Backing for him abroad has dwindled over time as he failed to dislodge Maduro.

At the same time, President Joe Biden's administration rewarded the Maduro government's decision to return to talks with the opposition, with a slight easing of sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry.


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