Only Venezuela can solve its problems – meddling by outsiders isn’t the solution

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The whole world waded in after Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president, but the global tug-of-war is dangerous and unhelpful

All crises are global, all solutions are local – and Venezuela is the latest case in point. No sooner had the young pretender, Juan Guaidó, declared himself interim president last month, ostensibly supplanting the corrupt old revolutionary, Nicolás Maduro, than the world piled in. The Trump administration insisted all countries must “pick a side” and back the “forces of freedom”. Russia denounced a US-backed “coup”. China, Latin American neighbours, Britain and the EU all scrambled for position, in accordance with their particular interests and prejudices.

In the past week, this international tug-of-war over Venezuela’s future has grown increasingly dangerous – and unhelpful – as protesters and security forces face off on the streets and the political impasse deepens.
John Bolton, the US national security adviser, is threatening “serious consequences” (meaning military intervention) should Guaidó be harmed or opposition supporters attacked. Maduro warns that the US could face a second Vietnam.

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