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Guaidó, increasingly alone

The Venezuelan opposition leader will lose his ally in the White House and the recognition of the European Union .

Juan Guaidó.

With the new government of the United States, Juan Guaidó would lose the support he had from the White House. / Photo: Wikimedia-Voice of America

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Guaidó, cada vez más solo

On January 20, the United States will experience a change of mandate. Joe Biden will assume the most powerful position in the world, that the controversial Donald Trump had held. The Republican president remained one of the main allies of Juan Guaidó, considered interim president by several countries (including the United States), and by the Venezuelan opposition.

Unfortunately for Guaidó, this event will be preceded by the announcement by the European Union that it does not recognize him as the legitimate president of the Caribbean country. The opposition leader maintained the title of interim president, being the president of the National Assembly that was under the power of the opposition. However, after the recent Venezuelan elections, in which a large part of the groups distant from the government did not participate, Chavismo retakes the legislative body and leaves Guaidó without a constitutional floor.

Also read: Two elections that express the erosion of polarization in Venezuela

The group of 26 countries, however, clarified that the Venezuelan legislative elections were not democratic and their results are also unknown. In this way, the European Union seeks to force dialogues that lead Venezuela, once again, to democracy.

This same strategy may be followed by Joe Biden as US President. Precisely, during the Obama administration (in which the current president-elect was vice president), the United States maintained the pressure with sanctions against Maduro, but at the same time, always insisted that internal political dialogue was the "best way" for a Venezuelan solution.

For this, the figure of Alejandro Mayorkas, designated as Secretary of Homeland Security, may be the key piece in the puzzle. Mayorkas was a key player in the Obama administration to unfreeze relations with Cuba.

Colombia and Brazil, the only allies, for now

So far, the only great allies Juan Guaidó has left are Iván Duque and Jair Bolsonaro, president of Colombia and Brazil, respectively. In addition to being the leaders of the most populated countries in South America, they also share borders with Venezuela. 

This allows the weakened encirclement (not only diplomatic) in which Venezuela lives to be maintained. It only manages to escape it  by sea with the help of its allies in Moscow, Beijing, Ankara, and Tehran.

However, and following the trend that the entire region is experiencing, the permanence of Duque and Bolsonaro is not guaranteed for more than 2 years. Both countries are scheduled to hold presidential elections in 2022. Although there is still plenty of time left, both presidents suffered recent political setbacks with the defeats of their allies in local elections.

The clock ticks and in the face of an increasingly lonely and uncertain panorama, Juan Guaidó will have to rethink his strategy, whether local or international.