Venezuela Opposition’s U.S. Envoy Has No ‘Crystal Ball’ On Maduro Exit

www.oann.com | 2/15/2019 | Staff
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Venezuelan opposition’s envoy to the United States said on Friday there was no telling how long it would take to oust President Nicolas Maduro but that efforts to end his rule were “irreversible,” despite the failure so far to convince the military to abandon him.

In an interview with Reuters, Carlos Vecchio, opposition leader Juan Guaido’s representative in Washington, pushed back against growing perceptions the U.S.-backed campaign to remove Maduro peacefully has stalled since Guaido declared himself interim president more than three weeks ago.

Vecchio - Venezuelan - Military - Maduro - Support

Vecchio predicted the Venezuelan military, which has remained loyal to Maduro despite broad international support for Guaido, would eventually turn against the socialist president.

“When will it happen? I don’t know,” he said. “No one has a crystal ball.” But he added: “We are in an irreversible process of change …. Time is not on Maduro’s side.”

Expectations - Home - Maduro - Swift - Exit

There were initially high expectations at home and abroad for Maduro’s swift exit after Guaido challenged his rule on Jan. 23 by invoking constitutional provisions, argued that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was a sham, and drew hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets.

The United States, many of Venezuela’s neighbors and dozens of other countries quickly recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

Maduro - Guaido - Coup - Attempt - Backing

But Maduro, who has accused Guaido of staging a U.S.-directed coup attempt, retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security forces.

A former senior U.S. official in Washington said President Donald Trump’s administration may have underestimated the complexities of the Venezuelan situation, especially the difficulty of spurring a mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

Washington - Guaido - Aid - Colombia - Border

Washington has sought to bolster Guaido by sending humanitarian aid to Colombia’s border with Venezuela but Maduro has blocked the shipments from getting to a population suffering food and...
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