A year on, Guaido’s image in trouble as opposition faces cracks

By: aljazeera

It was a tense scene earlier this month when Venezuela opposition members, led by Juan Guaido, attempted to climb the fence outside the country’s National Assembly after being barred entrance by security forces.
The scene offered a dramatically different picture of the opposition leader, who a year ago rallied tens of thousands as he invoked the country’s constitution to declare himself interim president, receiving the almost immediate support of the United States and dozens of other Western countries.
But a year later, President Nicolas Maduro appears to have an even tighter grip on his control as the opposition continues to fracture. And Guaido, struggling to maintain support at home amid the country’s deepening economic crisis, faces more challenges ahead, analysts say.
“The opposition has lost its influence in the country,” said Ronal Rodriguez, a professor and researcher at the Venezuelan Observatory, a think-tank at the University of Rosario in Colombia.
“The situation has changed, and people have started to leave the politics behind, and have instead focused on the day-to-day problems,” he told Al Jazeera. “The passion and enthusiasm that Guaido awoke has started to fade.”
Tensions in Venezuela escalated after Maduro was in for a second term on January 10, following elections deemed fraudulent by his opponents and much of the international community.
Days later, on January 23, at a massive rally in Caracas, Guaido declared himself acting president until new elections were held.
He established a way forward with three main goals: “the end of usurpation, a transitional government, and free elections.”
The US, Canada, and 14 Latin American countries backed his interim presidency, while hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to show their support for the then-35-year-old engineer. Maduro labelled the move an attempted “coup”.
“That was a big moment for us,” said Laura Hidalgo, a retired professor and opposition supporter in Venezuela.

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