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Maduro Refuses To Step Down

Venezuelan President is clinging to power despite being declared illegitimate and President of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó taking the oath as Interim President.

Maduro issued an order declaring his intention to cut ties with the United States and has ordered all U.S. personnel to leave the country within 72 hours.

Guaidó has issued a separate order stating U.S. personnel should remain in the country. The U.S is just one of a number of nations that have agreed to support Guaidó as he forms an interim government and attempts to stabilize the country.

This is not the first time protests have signaled a potential end to the current regime and the citizens of the country know this is far from over. But as NPR reported from the ground, people in the country want their country back:

NPR correspondent Philip Reeves told All Things Considered that the protesters he spoke with on the streets of Caracas on Wednesday were happy, but not ecstatic.

“They know this is far from over,” Reeves said. “They’ve been through periods of hope before, especially in 2017, when there were four months of protests that led to nothing. Having said that, after hyperinflation, deepening poverty, acute food shortages, medical shortages — they are daring to hope and to speak up because they desperately want change.”

Carlos Gonzales was one of the Venezuelans in the crowd when Guaidó took the oath. “This government, they destroy our democracy, and I want our democracy back,” he told Reeves. “I want our rights back. It’s all I want.”

DANIELLA CHESLOW, LAUREL WAMSLEY of NPR “Venezuelan Opposition Leader Guaidó Declares Himself President, With U.S. Backing”, January 23.2019

The failed military coup that was attemted yesterday hints at disorder in the ranks. Some are actively joining Maduro’s opposition.

With the 72 hour deadline, the President’s support of Guaidó is not wavering. When asked earlier today about the situation and what actions he was considering, he answered:

We’re not considering anything. But all options are on the table. Always. all options are on the table.

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