February 27, 2019

Can Maduro hold onto power in Venezuela?

As self-declared interim president Juan Guaido continues to call for foreign help, we ask whether military action is likely.

The political crisis in Venezuela is reaching boiling point as President Nicolas Maduro battles opposition leader Juan Guaido for power.

Over the weekend, violent protests broke out in towns along Venezuela’s border with Colombia and Brazil. At least two people were killed in a town near the Brazilian border and, according to officials in Colombia, as many as 285 were wounded near border bridge crossings.

The clashes began after Venezuelan troops blocked US aid convoys - which Maduro sees as an attempt to undermine his government - from entering the country.

Guaido later called on foreign powers "to consider all options in ousting Maduro."

On Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence announced fresh sanctions against allies of Maduro after meeting with Latin American leaders and Guaido in Colombia. The US and a large number of Western countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, while China and Russia support Maduro.

Venezuela suffers from hyperinflation and food and medicine shortages. According to the UN, three million people have fled the country, most since 2015.

So, what can break the impasse? And what has the impact of the crisis been on Venezuelans caught in the middle? We ask a panel of experts. 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Temir Porras Ponceleon @temirporras
Fmr. Deputy of Foreign Affairs

Emiliana Duarte @emiduarte
Blogger, Caracas Chronicles

Anatoly Kurmanaev @AKurmanaev
Reporter, New York Times

Read more: 
Venezuela crisis: Dozens hurt in violence near border - Al Jazeera 
US ramps up pressure on Maduro with fresh sanctions - Al Jazeera 
In Venezuela, Maduro has no choice but to resist Trump - Forbes 

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.