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Venezuela: Guaidó Makes His Move

Venezuela: Guaidó Makes His Move

Yesterday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced the "final phase" of his bid to unseat President Nicolás Maduro from power. Flanked by soldiers, he urged Venezuelans into the streets and called for the country's military to rise up against the Maduro regime.


Thousands of civilians heeded his call, clashing with police in Caracas and other major cities. But although US National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed that top members of the regime had agreed in recent days to oust Maduro, so far it looks like the military is sticking with him. That's crucial.

The endgame in Venezuela has seemingly dragged on forever. Here is the background for this latest, and perhaps decisive, clash between Guaidó and Maduro:

What has changed recently: Venezuela's economic situation was already dire when Guaidó returned to Venezuela in March after rallying foreign support for his cause, and since then the situation has worsened. Massive blackouts have roiled the country and the US has tightened sanctions on Venezuelan crude exports – one of the regime's only sources of money. At some point, the economic squeeze could fracture Maduro's inner circle and alienate his main external financial lifelines – Russia and China. But we're not there just yet.

Will the generals flip? This has always been the key question. So far, Maduro has managed to keep the top brass on his side, while tamping down the occasional revolt by members of the junior ranks. On Tuesday, Leopoldo López, a former opposition leader who has been under house arrest, appeared alongside Guaidó for his video broadcast, suggesting that soldiers who had been guarding him had changed their allegiance. But Guaidó needs defections from the higher-ups if he wants to succeed. So far, the brass isn't budging.

Maduro's crackdown calculus: He's already moved to shut down the internet and social media. But if a critical mass of citizens and soldiers does rise up against him, he'll have to decide whether to crack down, and how hard. That's not an easy calculus. He'll want to suppress any massive challenge to public order, but at the same time, if he orders his troops to fire on a large number of people and the soldiers ignore him, his authority would be crippled and it could be game over for him.

Maduro might also prefer to wait and see if this attempted putsch fizzles out on its own. If that happens, it could finally be game over – not for Maduro, but for Guaidó.

Want more? Read this thread on what Guaidó may be up to, written by the author of a book on coups.

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Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

Join us today, September 29th, at 11 am ET for a GZERO Town Hall livestream event, Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about the latest in the global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Watch here at 11am ET: https://www.gzeromedia.com/events/town-hall-ending-the-covid-19-pandemic-livestream/

Our panel will discuss where things really stand on vaccine development, the political and economic challenges of distribution, and what societies need to be focused on until vaccine arrives in large scale. This event is the second in a series presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group.

Apoorva Mandavilli, science & global health reporter for the New York Times, will moderate a conversation with:

  • Lynda Stuart, Deputy Director, Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Energy, Climate & Resources, Eurasia Group
  • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Gayle E. Smith, President & CEO, ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

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700,000: An additional 700,000 Syrian children may go hungry this year due to the combined effects of the war-ravaged country's economic implosion, as well as coronavirus restrictions, pushing the total number of food-insecure kids in Syria to over 4.6 million, according to Save the Children. Two thirds of surveyed children have not eaten any fresh fruit in three months.

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