VENEZUELA: GUAIDÓ RETURNS TO VENEZUELA FULL OF FIGHT

VENEZUELA: GUAIDÓ RETURNS TO VENEZUELA FULL OF FIGHT

Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader recognized as Venezuela's interim president by more than 50 countries, is willing to go as far as it takes to bring "freedom" to his country. That's what Guaidó told a GZERO correspondent at Caracas' Simón Bolívar Airport, moments after he rushed into a wildly cheering crowd of supporters. See the full video here.

Guaidó's return after nearly two weeks abroad reignites the contest for power between him and President Nicolás Maduro, who still controls much of the government and the military despite plummeting popularity and a deepening humanitarian crisis.


Looking ahead: Guaidó has tremendous popular momentum – enjoying a 61 percent approval rating, compared to just 14 percent for Maduro – but to sustain support he'll need to show his supporters that he can make progress towards alleviating Venezuela's humanitarian crisis and achieving a political transition.

President Maduro, meanwhile, continues to cling to power with the allegiance of senior military figures as well as massive backing from the government and intelligence services of Cuba. But the cash flow that underpins the generals' loyalty to Maduro is drying up fast under harsher US sanctions. Guaidó's best hope for a quick transition is to convince some of the key brass to break with the regime.

Over all of this drama hangs the prospect of outside military intervention – an option that US policymakers and even some of Guaidó's advisers have hinted is still on the table. But none of Venezuela's neighbors support the idea of a fresh yanqui invasion in the region, and the risks associated might be too high even for the most hawkish Washington interventionists.

That said, the Trump administration has staked itself to a policy of regime change in Venezuela, and no one hates looking like a loser more than Donald Trump.

The bottom line: There have been many moments at which the Venezuela crisis seemed like it was coming to a head – Guaidó's return to his home soil makes the next few days critical to watch.

Ken Burns discusses Muhammad Ali's background and how the journey of boxing's greatest champion is just as relevant today—in sport, culture and beyond.

"He is speaking to us with a kind of force and clarity...that to me is just so enduring." - Ken Burns

No country in the Western Hemisphere is more closely associated with disaster and misery than the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Its latest upheaval centers on news that the country's top prosecutor wants Haiti's prime minister to answer questions about the murder of the president in July. Haiti is again locked in a power struggle among competing factions within its ruling elite.

Why is Haiti still so poor and disaster-prone?

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For Michael Chertoff, former US secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, the fact that America has not experienced a single attack by foreign terrorists since 9/11 proves that the US was "successful" in its strategy to prevent terrorism. That "was not [an] accident and there was a deterrent effect to be honest — had we been lax, more would have tried." Although he admits the US government wasn't transparent enough about the intelligence it was collecting, Chertoff credits US intelligence agencies with helping to foil the plot to blow up airplanes mid-air from Heathrow to the US in 2006. The US mission in Iraq, or what came after was not clearly thought out, according to Michael Chertoff, who served as the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. The Iraq war made it difficult to focus on the US mission in Afghanistan and absorbed resources that could have been used more effectively elsewhere, he said.

Watch the full episode: Is America safer since 9/11?

Listen: In a frank interview on the GZERO World podcast, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, speaks with Ian Bremmer at the UN ahead of the annual General Assembly week. Guterres discusses COVID, climate, the US-China rift, and the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, and does not mince words when it comes to the dire state of the world. "We are standing at the edge of an abyss," Guterres warns. COVID is "defeating" the global community and a climate catastrophe is all but assured without drastic action. Amidst this unprecedented peril, there remains a startling lack of trust among nations. And yet, there is still hope.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.


"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." — Harry S. Truman

The former US president's warning feels particularly prescient as world leaders prepare to gather at the 76th United National General Assembly in New York City, the first such in-person event in over 18 months. The importance of apt leadership in determining societies' ability to cope — and survive — has been on full display since COVID-19 enveloped the globe, decimating communities and killing some 4.5 million people.

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As the 76th UN General Assembly gets underway, dealing with the pandemic is still the top priority for world leaders. But for John Frank, vice president of UN Global Affairs at Microsoft, COVID is not the only major challenge the world faces today.

One of them — included in the UN Secretary-General's new Common Agenda for strong, inclusive pandemic recovery — is a different way to measure economic growth beyond the traditional productivity-led GDP model by taking more into account the cost of pollution, one of the main causes of climate change.

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For UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic has made the world even more divided than it was before COVID. That's especially true on climate, in his view, because rich and poor countries simply don't trust each other anymore. If we want COP26 to succeed, Guterres says we must rebuild that trust — or face the consequences of inaction. "If you are on the verge of an abyss, you must be careful about your next step." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

"Pandemic" was the most used word of 2020. "Delta" looks set to inherit this year's title.

Vaccination rates are ticking up slowly. Governments aren't talking to each other enough. Parts of the world are back to normal, while others are still locked down.

Have we actually made any progress since the COVID-19 outbreak?


Unfinished Business: Is the World Really Building Back Better?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 11am ET/ 8am PT

Our speakers:

Special appearance by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

Visit gzeromedia.com/globalstage to watch on the day of the event.

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UNGA 76: Vaccines, climate, crises

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UN Chief: Still time to avert climate “abyss”

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