Juan Guaidó

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Juan Guaidó
Interim President of Venezuela
In office
23 January 2019 – 5 January 2023
Disputed with Nicolás Maduro
Preceded byNicolás Maduro
10th President of the National Assembly of Venezuela
Assumed office
5 January 2019
Preceded byOmar Barboza
Federal Deputy for Vargas
Assumed office
5 January 2016
Personal details
Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez

(1983-07-28) 28 July 1983 (age 40)
La Guaira, Venezuela
Political partyVoluntad Popular
(Popular Will)(2009-2020)
Spouse(s)Fabiana Rosales[1]
Children1 daughter
EducationAndrés Bello Catholic University
George Washington University

Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez (born 28 July 1983)[2] is a Venezuelan engineer and politician. He is the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela and was a member of the Popular Will political party. He is a representative for the state of Vargas.

The Constitution of Venezuela lets the President of the National Assembly hold the role of Interim President of Venezuela if nobody else can have it. Guaidó took oath on 23 January 2019 to be interim president, because people rejected Nicolás Maduro as the president. Many countries recognize Guaidó as president,[3] but others don't.

Early life and education[change | change source]

Guaidó grew up with a large family,[a] who were middle-class but humble.[1][6] His parents were an airline pilot and a teacher.[b][4] One of his grandfathers was a sergeant of the Venezuelan National Guard, the other grandfather was a captain in the Venezuelan Navy.[7]

He survived the 1999 Vargas tragedy which left his family temporarily homeless. He earned his high school diploma in 2000.[2][8] The tragedy may have influenced his political views, he did not think that Hugo Chávez's government helped his family afterwards.[9]

Guaidó has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering. He was awarded this in 2007 at Andrés Bello Catholic University. He has two postgraduate degrees related to business, one from George Washington University in the United States, and the other from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración in Caracas.[2][8]

He is married to Fabiana Rosales, a journalist,[10] and they have a daughter named Miranda.[11]

Activism[change | change source]

Guaidó was part of a student-led political movement that was set up to protest about an independent television network RCTV not being able to operate any more due to the government.[12] He helped set up the movement when he was 23. This was also the year he graduated from Andrés Bello.[13] The group protested other government acts, including the 2007 constitutional referendum, which Chávez lost.[14]

Two years later, in 2009, Guaidó helped set up a political party, the Popular Will party. He is a member of this party.[15] In 2014, he was the party's national coordinator.[16] CNN says that he was "mentored for years" by Leopoldo López, a more famous member of Popular Will.[17] Guaidó and López talk to each other a lot, even though López cannot leave his house.[1] Guaidó was well known to other people in Popular Will, but was not famous to other people[18] until 2019, when López said he should be leader of Popular Will.[19]

Venezuelan National Assembly[change | change source]

In the 2010 Venezuelan parliamentary election, Guaidó was elected as a back-up representative.[20] In 2015 he was elected to be the main representative, with 26% of the vote.[21][22] He represents an area that used to not support his party.[9]

Even though he wasn't very famous, Guaidó stopped eating as a protest so that there would be elections in 2015.[17] In 2017 he took an important communications job in the National Assembly. In 2018, he became the person in charge of the National Assembly, because he was named the head of the biggest alliance in the National Assembly.[8] He helped out by telling stories to people at the University of Arizona, who were looking at the conditions of politicians in Latin America.[16]

In the National Assembly, Guaidó looked into the staff of Maduro being corrupt, and worked with outside people to take back money that had been stolen from the Venezuelan public.[9] He took part in the 2017 Venezuelan protests. He has a scar on his neck after he was shot with rubber bullets.[23]

President of the National Assembly[change | change source]

Guaidó was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018. He was sworn in on 5 January 2019. Relatives of other politicians who have been locked up were invited to the inauguration, where they stood on the balcony behind the banner of Juan Requesens.[7] Guaidó is the youngest person to lead the opposition.[5] When he was officially in the job, he said he would stand up to Nicolás Maduro, and gave an eight-point action plan to do that.[7][24][25] The plan, which the National Assembly agrees with, has three phases and eight key points:[26]

  1. Make sure they are sure that Maduro is not supposed to be president
  2. Have other countries only deal with the National Assembly
  3. Set up a group of people who will plan to improve the country
  4. Re-take power from Maduro
  5. Ask for other groups in other parts of the world to accept his plans
  6. Get help for the suffering people
  7. Set up a place for money that was taken illegally to be returned
  8. Approve official plan

On 15 January 2019, the National Assembly made a plan to work with other countries. They asked these other countries to not let Maduro access his money or money that belongs to Venezuela.[27] Guaidó wrote an article on 15 January 2019 in The Washington Post. In his article he told people about the problems in Venezuela and how he can fix it.[28] Guaidó spoke to the Wall Street Journal about his methods to lead people, where he says people should be "holding out a hand". He said that he would not lock up members of the army who stopped helping Maduro and helped him instead.[5] Other country leaders nearby to Venezuela asked Maduro to not become president again in 2019, wanting a better election.[29]

Detention and release[change | change source]

Guaidó was taken to prison for 45 minutes on 13 January 2019 by the Venezuelan secret police.[4][30] The Lima Group[31] and the person in charge of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, said that Guaidó being arrested was wrong.[32] Maduro said the people who locked him up had not been told to do that by anyone official.[33] Twelve of the people who did it were arrested for disobeying orders.[34]

Guaidó said that the soldiers disobeying showed that Maduro was not in control.[35]

Interim President of Venezuela[change | change source]

Assumption of presidential powers and duties[change | change source]

Article 233 of the Constitution of Venezuela says that there are situations when the president of the National Assembly can take the job of president of Venezuela, if there is no other president.[36] Lots of people thought that Maduro had not been elected in a way that paid attention to other rules in the Constitution, and so Guaidó could become the president. Guaidó agreed on 10 January 2019 and said that he would try to become president.[37][38] The National Assembly asked for people to protest on 23 January. This is an important day in Venezuela, because it is on this day that they got rid of an old president who was a dictator.[39] Lots of people all over the world protested on the day.[40][41][42] Guaidó said that he was president. Maduro was not happy about this, blaming it on the United States (U.S.). Maduro said he would not deal with the U.S.[42] The U.S., Canada, and several Latin American countries gave their support to Guaidó to be interim president on the same day; Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Turkey supported Maduro.[39][43] On 29 January, the TSJ began investigating Guaidó, stopping him from having his money or leaving the country.[44]

Domestic policy[change | change source]

Humanitarian[change | change source]

The day after becoming the interim president, Guaidó asked for help for the people of Venezuela. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave him $20 million.[45]

Amnesty Law[change | change source]

On 25 January, Guaidó made an Amnesty Law, which the National Assembly agreed with. It would help the National Assembly by supporting military personnel and authorities who help him.[46]

He suggested that if Maduro gives up power, he may receive amnesty.[47] In his first weekend as interim president, he held another public assembly, asking supporters to spread the word of the Amnesty Law throughout the country to military, police and other people it may affect.[48][49]

Finance and economy[change | change source]

Guaidó asked the Bank of England and British Prime Minister Theresa May to not give Maduro any of £1.2 billion of gold that belongs to Venezuela. He asked for them to give access to the gold to the opposition instead.[50][51] In the same week, the US Treasury made sanctions to prevent US purchases from PDVSA (Venezuela's state-run oil company),[52] and gave Guaidó control of some Venezuelan things in the country.[53]

Foreign policy[change | change source]

Mike Pence meets with Carlos Vecchio, Julio Borges, and other Washington-based Venezuelan representatives on 29 January 2019

Carlos Vecchio was made the ambassador to the US for Guaidó's government.[54] Gustavo Tarre Briceño was named by Guaidó as Venezuela's Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States.[55] The National Assembly approved eleven[56] diplomatic appointments on 29 January,[57] including Humberto Calderón Berti [es] as ambassador to Colombia[58][59] and Elisa Trotta Gamus as ambassador to Argentina.[60][61]

Recognition[change | change source]

In January 2019 Guaidó was recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by many individual nations in the Americas and around the world,[62][63] and rejected by others, including the Chinese, Turkish, and Russian governments and the pro-Maduro Supreme Tribunal of Justice.[39] The Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela in exile welcomed him as interim president.[64]

The European Union did not say whether they recognized Guaidó as president of Venezuela, but did say on 23 January 2019 that it "fully supports the National Assembly as the democratically elected institution whose powers need to be restored and respected", adding that "the civil rights, freedom and safety of all members of the National Assembly, including its President, Juan Guaidó, need to be observed and fully respected".[65] On 26 January 2019, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom gave Maduro an eight-day ultimatum, saying they would recognize Juan Guaido as president unless Maduro calls for elections within those eight days.[66]

The Organization of American States (OAS) made a decision on 10 January 2019 "to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term".[67] Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, recognized Guaidó on 23 January.[68] In a special meeting of the OAS on 24 January, sixteen countries, including the US, recognized Guaidó as president, but they did not achieve the majority needed for a resolution.[69]

Nations recognizing presidential power
     Recognize Guaidó
     Support National Assembly
     Recognize Maduro

Political persona and diplomacy[change | change source]

Time magazine described Guaidó as charismatic, saying that he had "unified a divided opposition".[70] He is known for "building unity among fellow legislators", according to a Bloomberg article.[1] Michael Shifter said that he "has tried to reach out to the military, tried to unify the opposition and tried to reach Chavista folks as well".[5] Guaidó is described by fellow politician Freddy Guevara as humble, sincere, a fighter, and "eternal optimist",[19] and David Smolansky says that he "was incredibly brave [to challenge Maduro]".[19] Vox interviewed an expert on Venezuelan politics who said that Guaidó was "uncharismatic", and compared him to former US President Barack Obama, saying they were similar at public addresses.[71] The Guardian noted that Guaidó has adopted the same "rallying cry" as Obama's "Yes we can": "Sí, se puede!".[72] An article in The Nation calls Guaidó a "second-string politician" who "simply declared himself acting president" in a brazen power grab.[73] The Guardian reported concerns that Guaidó was allied with far-right leaders, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro and the United States' Donald Trump.[51]

Media[change | change source]

In January 2019, within minutes[74][75] of Venezuela's state-run media posting a video attempting to discredit Guaidó, the Instagram hashtag #guaidochallenge went viral, trending worldwide.[76]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The Washington Post says Guaidó is one of eight siblings;[4] Bloomberg says he is one of seven;[1] the Wall Street Journal says he is one of six.[5]
  2. The Washington Post says his father was an airline pilot.[4] The Wall Street Journal says his father was a cab driver.[5] La Patilla says his father, Wilmer Guaidó, escaped from Venezuela's chavismo and worked driving a taxi in Tenerife, Spain, but that he was an airline pilot in Venezuela.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rosati, Andrew and Alex Vasquez (23 January 2019). "Who Is Juan Guaido? A Quick Look at the Young Venezuelan Leader". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Diputado por Vargas Juan Guaidó" (in Spanish). Popular Will Party. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  3. Merrill, Dave and Carolina Millan (24 January 2019). "Map: All the Countries Recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's New President". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Venezuela's opposition is gambling it all on a young and untested activist named Juan Guaidó". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Castro, Maolis and Juan Forero (24 January 2019). "From Quiet Beginnings, Maduro's Challenger Raises Voice in Venezuela". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "El padre de Juan Guaidó desde Tenerife: "Siempre adelante, hijo"" (in Spanish). LaPatilla.com. 27 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Long, Gideon (13 January 2019). "Venezuela's opposition vows to help end Maduro's rule". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sanchez, Fabiola and Scott Smith (14 January 2019). "Guaidó, político de poca experiencia que asume rol crucial". La Patilla (in European Spanish). Associated Press. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Zubillaga, Guillermo (9 January 2019). "Meet the New Face of Venezuela's Opposition". Americas Quarterly. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
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Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Juan Guaidó at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Omar Barboza
President of the National Assembly of Venezuela
Preceded by
Nicolas Maduro
Interim President of Venezuela


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