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Venezuelan opposition closes ’embassy’ in US after Guaido ouster

Venezuela's opposition has shut down its "embassy" in Washington after removing US-backed Juan Guaido and dissolving his so-called "interim government".

“We inform the Venezuelan community in the United States, and the public in general, that the Venezuelan embassy in the United States and all its officials formally ceased functions on Thursday, January 5, 2023,” the mission said.

Guaido’s associates seized control of the official Venezuelan embassy in 2019 after the opposition-controlled National Assembly rejected the 2018 legal presidential election results and established an “interim government” led by Guaido. The United States, eventually joined by some 50 other countries, then recognized Guaido as interim president.

Venezuela opposition officially removes US-backed Guaido, dissolves so-called interim government

The development came after the now-defunct opposition-controlled National Assembly agreed last month to eliminate the “interim government” of Guaido.

Three of the four major Venezuelan opposition groups — Justice First, Democratic Action, and A New Era — backed the ouster of Guaido as well as the creation of a five-member commission to manage the country’s foreign assets, especially US-based refiner Citgo, a subsidiary of state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Guaido, whose Voluntad Popular party rejected the effort, had urged the lawmakers at the National Assembly to replace him instead of dissolving the “interim government.”

The decision for ouster was made within the framework of peace talks between the Maduro administration and the country’s opposition groups to promote national unity and advance the recovery of the Latin American state from years-long sanctions imposed by the US.

The oil-rich country began going through a downward spiral of poverty as well as social and developmental stagnation in 2018, when the West led by the US, and its favored Venezuelan opposition contested Maduro’s victory in the presidential election.

Following the election, Western countries began slapping Caracas with a slew of backbreaking sanctions, which have been responsible for spawning the dire economic situation in the country, with millions having fled Venezuela since the onset of the crisis.

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