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Weekly Report - 09 January 2020 (WR-20-01)

Maduro takes the plunge in Venezuela

Nicolás Maduro bided his time before making his move. Caught off guard this time last year by the speed with which a little-known legislator, Juan Guaidó, shot to prominence to come closer than any other member of the opposition to removing him from power, Maduro resorted to blocking Guaidó from entering the national assembly (AN) building and being re-elected as president of the opposition-controlled body on 5 January. In an irregular session attended by just a handful of opposition dissidents and Chavista deputies, a discredited opposition deputy was elected as Guaidó’s successor in a sham vote. Rather than dividing it, Maduro’s move against Guaidó has galvanised the flagging opposition. But it faces the same old difficulties going forward: the military is still aligned with Maduro who has demonstrated that he will stop at nothing to retain power.

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