Venezuelan opposition calls for end of Guaido’s alternative gov’t

Caracas, Dec 21 (EFE).- A majority of the opposition lawmakers who supported then-parliament speaker Juan Guaido’s Jan. 5, 2019, statement proclaiming himself acting president of Venezuela called Wednesday for the end of his “interim government,” which is recognized by the United States.

“The proposal would be the elimination of the entire interim government, except for three bodies that we consider necessary for the defense of assets abroad,” Alfonso Marquina told a press conference, speaking on behalf of 69 of the 112 former members of the National Assembly who originally backed Guaido’s proclamation.

Marquina said he and his colleagues wish to preserve the boards created to oversee state oil company Pdvsa and the Central Bank as well as the executive commission responsible for ensuring transparency in the use of recovered assets.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government and a coalition of opposition parties recently agreed to cooperate on regaining access to assets abroad that have been frozen as a result of US sanctions and applying those funds to humanitarian needs.

That accord coincided with the renewal of talks in Mexico between the leftist government and its opponents, which in turn prompted Washington to authorize US oil giant Chevron to resume some operations in Venezuela, home to the world’s largest reserves of crude.

“After four years,” the interim government “is not perceived as an option for real political change, it has not reached the hoped-for objectives of liberation and the country demands new paths that bring us to democracy,” Marquina said, reading from a statement.

Guaido, who became speaker of the National Assembly based on a pact among the opposition parties that then made up the majority, based his claim to the presidency on the contention that Maduro’s re-election in 2018 had been illegitimate.

Polls showed that prior to January 2019, fewer than 20 percent of Venezuelans had heard of Guaido, whose bid for power was encouraged by Donald Trump’s administration.

The Guaido-led interim government “is not the reason for being of the democratic struggle,” Marquina said, but rather an “instrument, necessary at the time, to achieve international dialogue.” EFE gcs/dr

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