- Title: Profile of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
- Date: 2nd January 2020
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS) VENEZUELAN INTERIOR MINISTER, NESTOR REVEROL, AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN INTERIOR MINISTER, NESTOR REVEROL, SAYING: "Guaido's exit to Colombian territory in February of this year was an extraction operation by Colombian narco-paramilitaries. They offered Guaido security and safekeeping during his travel in Colombia territory from a place called La Palmita, in Tachira state (Venezuela) to Puerto Santander (Colombia)." REVEROL AT NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 16th January 2020 18:11
- Keywords: Blackout Caracas Colombian Juan Guaido Leopoldo Lopez Nicolas Maduro Tear gas Venezuela Venezuelan president
- Location: CARACAS, LA CARLOTA, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, LA CARLOTA, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA005BUI4PJB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: GUAIDO FILE FOOTAGE CONTINUES IN EDIT 8104-VENEZUELA-POLITICS/GUAIDO PROFILE-PART 1
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaido prepares for re-election as National Assembly leader on Sunday (January 5).
Guaido went from a virtual unknown in Venezuelan politics to the country's most-watched figure, assuming the presidency of the opposition-controlled congress and briefly being detained by the secret police.
In January last year, the 35-year-old from the South American country's hardscrabble Caribbean coast thrust himself onto the international stage with the boldest challenge to socialist President Nicolas Maduro's rule in years: he declared himself interim president, a move swiftly recognised by the United States, Canada and many Latin American countries.
His rapid ascent has raised hopes that he could fill a leadership vacuum in Venezuela's notoriously divided opposition, which has failed in several attempts to oust Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. Many of its most prominent figures have been jailed, exiled or barred from seeking public office.
The salsa-loving baseball fan has animated the opposition's upper-class base and won over many working-class Venezuelans fed up with the country's hyperinflationary economic collapse, who have taken to the streets demanding Maduro step down.
Yet Guaido still needs the backing of the armed forces to achieve his goals.
He has proposed an amnesty for members of the military, but said members of the Maduro government who committed human rights violations should be punished.
Guaido took the helm of the National Assembly on January 5, 2019 with a call for the armed forces to recognise Maduro as a "usurper" after his May 2018 re-election vote, widely viewed as fraudulent.
The eldest of six children from a working-class family in the coastal state of Vargas, Guaido survived a devastating 1999 mudslide that posed one of the earliest tests to Chavez's 14-year rule.
He went on to study engineering, but became involved in politics while in college and studied political management at George Washington University in the United States. He is married with a young daughter.
Representing Vargas for Popular Will, Guaido assumed the parliament's leadership as part of a power-sharing agreement between Venezuela's main opposition parties. He has said little about what policies he would pursue as president, but Popular Will describe themselves as centre-left social democrats.
Guaido was dragged out of his car on the highway and detained by intelligence agents on January 14, 2019 but was swiftly released.
Government officials said the officers responsible would be punished.
Guaido has said he is not afraid of being arrested, boosting his popularity among Venezuelans tired with Maduro.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None