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Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó suggested on Thursday that the nation’s opposition is open to discussing granting prosecutorial amnesty to dictator Nicolás Maduro and top officials, such as drug traffickers Diosdado Cabello and Tareck El Aissami, despite their flagrant record of years of human rights abuses.
Guaidó made the remark in his first interview since being sworn into the office of the presidency on Wednesday during nationwide protests against Maduro’s socialist regime, speaking to Univisión’s Patricia Janiot. Guaidó also provided in that interview the first estimates of crowd sizes at Wednesday’s massive protests; the opposition estimates that between seven and eight million people nationwide turned out to call for an end to the Maduro regime.
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Guaidó, previously the president of the National Assembly, rose to prominence rapidly this month despite being a founding member of Popular Will, the socialist opposition party led by political prisoner Leopoldo López. The interview served as an introduction to Guaidó for much of the world, particularly in Latin America, where most nations have accepted him, and not Maduro, as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state.
Articles 333 and 350 of the Venezuelan Constitution require the Venezuelan people to “fail to recognize any regime, legislation, or authority that contradicts the values, principles, and democratic guarantees [herein] or violates human rights.” The Venezuelan opposition contends that, given these unique provisions in their constitution, Maduro’s illegitimate occupation of power requires his expulsion and the creation of an interim government to organize free and fair elections.
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Maduro has not budged from Miraflores, the presidential palace, and rejected calls to step aside because “some nobody inaugurated himself.” To avoid bloodshed, Guaidó told Janot that amnesty for Maduro and his top officials, as well as any soldier who wishes to disobey Maduro, is “on the table”:
While Guaidó has international support, the military continues to back Maduro,...
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