5 Things You Need to Know About Juan Guaido

On January 23, President Trump released a statement recognizing Juan Guaido as the Venezuelan interim president effectively declaring Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate. Trump also urged others to recognize “National Assembly President Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela” and reassured that the United States government will “work constructively with [Venezuela] in support of his efforts to restore constitutional legitimacy”.

This statement follows an election that is largely believed to have been a sham election to keep Maduro in office that only received a voter turnout of 46 percent and rumored to have bought votes and other dirty tricks. Maduro was inaugurated in the Venezuelan Supreme Court, not in the National Assembly.

Guaido is president of the National Assembly and under Article 233 and 333 of the Venezuelan Constitution and in combination with the election that is considered the “usurpation” of power by Maduro, Guaido can serve as the interim president while new elections are held. If you haven’t been following closely to what’s been occurring in international politics, Maduro held elections, but because he didn’t have his inauguration where it is required by the Venezuelan Constitution it is considered unconstitutional and invalid.

Before the recognition from major world powers as the interim president, we really don’t know much about Guaido. So here are five quick facts about the Venezuelan that is trying to bring democracy back to the socialist nation.

1. According to the Venezuelan Constitution, Guaido can only remain interim president for 30 days while the government holds new elections for the office of president. He has been interim president since Jan 23.

2. His own political campaign slogan “Si, se puede!” is similar to Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can!” campaign slogan he used in 2008 and 2012. He wants the socialist country to transition to a socialist-democratic state.

3. Served as an alternate for the National Assembly from 2011 until 2016, where he was elected to the National Assembly as the Federal Deputy for the state of Vargas. He is the 10th President of the National Assembly of Venezuela.

4. Guaido was detained for one hour by a Venezuelan intelligence agency as he was traveling out of the capital, however, Guaido said that it wasn’t orchestrated by Maduro. He believes that the officers who arrested him were not following commands when he was detained.

5. Guaido is a part of the Popular Will political party, which is a socialist-democratic party in Venezuela. It was founded in 2009 by Leopoldo Lopez, who mentors Guaido, in response to Hugo Chavez and his then vice president, Maduro. The party is committed to the progression of Venezuela into a country that champions the “social, economic, political and human rights of every Venezuelan.”