A host of foreign powers including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and over a dozen Latin American states were quick to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president earlier this week. The opposition leader declared himself interim president in a move embattled President Nicolas Maduro labeled a U.S. orchestrated coup. As well as having the support of Venezuela’s military, Maduro still has widespread international backing including support from Russia, China, and Mexico, amongst others, according to Bloomberg.
Maduro described the U.S. decision to recognize Guiado as “a big provocation” and he subsequently broke off diplomatic relations. The situation in Venezuela is extremely delicate and defense minister Vladimir Padrino said that the country could be plunged into a devastating conflict by Guaido’s “laughable” but dangerous gambit. Guaido has said that Maduro and his inner circle would be granted amnesty if they step down and contribute to a peaceful transition of power. Amid the uncertainty, the U.S. state department has urged American citizens to leave Venezuela and ordered out non-essential government staff.