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The Tragedy of Juan Guaidó

The 2020 State of the Union was full of political gamesmanship. President Donald Trump gave an intense, theatrical speech followed by uproarious republican applause. The Democrats responded likewise, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi dramatically tearing up Trump’s written speech. Hidden in all this media coverage was the presence of Venezuela’s contested president Juan Guaidó. When he was mentioned, a moment of bipartisan support ensconced the Congress as he was applauded by members from both sides of the aisle.

Despite this unanimous applause, Guaidó’s house of cards has fallen. His presence at the State of the Union is emblematic of the weak position he is in. Unable to wrench the “other” Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro from the presidency in 2019, he has been forced to pander to foreign powers to remain relevant and preserve his legitimacy. Short of an improbable turn of events, Guaidó is unlikely to be the personality to dethrone the Chavista regime, if that will even occur.