Why Guaido Is No Longer in the News 

By Esther Yañez Illescas on April 15, 2019

Juan Guaido, or rather Juan Guaido’s character, has been and continues to be a question mark in the broad sense for most Venezuelans, political experts and journalists.

Juan Guaido is a 35-year-old engineer, graduated from Venezuela’s private catholic college UCAB, elected chairperson of the National Assembly -with an opposition majority and found in contempt by the Supreme Court of Justice- last January 5th.

Before that date, just as journalist and international analyst Miguel Angel Perez Pirela told Sputnik, “he was a complete unknown person for over 80 per cent of the Venezuelan population. Since that moment, he became one of the oddest marketing political packages ever created by the U.S. He is a communicational phenomenon created to be just right for the goals hoped to be achieved in Venezuela. Others had been proposed but they were overexposed.”

Pirela was referring  to Freddy Guevara, second in command at the centrist political party Popular Will (Voluntad Popular), former vice chair to the National Assembly and now sheltered at the Chilean Embassy to Venezuela since he was accused of leading deadly protests in 2017.

There is also the case of Yon Goicoechea’s, arrested in 2016 by Venezuelan security forces who confirmed they found a kilogram of explosives being transported in his vehicle. The same as David Smolansky, former mayor in the municipality of El Hatillo, even though he was sentenced to 15 months in prison due to his role in the 2017 deadly protests, he is now conveniently exiled in the U.S.

They are all members of the “Generation 2007.” According to Grayzone journalists Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, this is “a U.S. backed group of activists specialized in changing regimes,” funded by the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA subsidiary that works as the U.S. main weapon to change governments in the world through vast amounts of money disguised as social improvement projects.

In turn, Diego Sequera, researcher at the news website Mision Verdad, affirms that “this generation was prepared to carry out color revolutions inspired by the “soft coup” format devised by U.S. writer Gene Sharp, based on nonviolent strategies.”

The 21st century war is different. Psychological, social, economic or political weapons are more important now. That is the style of the unconventional warfare or fourth generation warfare inspired on Sharp’s theory and the one trying to be implemented in Venezuela, following other successful models as Libya’s or Ukraine’s.

However, according to Sequera, Guaido is not the last tool in line (behind his “Generation 2007″ partners) neither is he a last resort.” The Venezuelan analyst states that “in matters of esthetics, Guaido’s face resembles a country person and he has that semiotic ability to empathize with an average Venezuelan. He does not have the snob appeal of others like Guevara or Smolansky. It is easier to cover him up.”

There is also another level to understand why they picked Guaido above others to lead during this political trend in Venezuela, the researcher said: “Guaido is Leopoldo Lopez’s protégé. He would be the president of the transition while Lopez would be the president of a ‘Free Venezuela.”

According to Sequera reality is proving that “this is not working because there are conflicts among them. Besides, the only character the U.S. will not accept to sacrifice or throw away is Leopoldo. Guaido is just a political bumper so that Lopez can come later and take office.”

The truth is that nothing has changed since three months after Guaido self-proclaimed Venezuela’s interim president at a public square in Caracas and promised that Nicolas Maduro would leave power and they would convene free elections. The media’s expectation, heightened during the first weeks of this year, has now disappeared.

According to Miguel Pirela, Guaido is, “some sort of Forrest Gump they obliged to run in the big leagues and he ended up playing the fool because no matter how hard the national and international private media tries to extol him, Guaido is becoming a disappointment and I would dare to say his time is passing.”

Perez Pirela added that “after so many promises, so many “Deadlines”, target days that became a fraud, his supporters do not believe in him anymore. No matter how much the media highly influences politics, by the end of the day, they cannot replace reality.”

It is funny that these days of no concrete actions by the opposition has even influenced the way journalists call Guaido. Many journalists who were “militant” in there support have now gone from calling him “president” to privately and publicly calling him “engineer,” “promising opposition leader,” or just “Juan.”

“This lightning operation is fading away,” said the journalist. “They will be soon not only be talking about Guaido as a 35-year-old engineer, in fact they will not talk about him at all,” he concluded.

Diego Sequera says this finale has its origin in “several miscalculations”  “The plan was devised with short-term logic and they did not have a plan B. They are improvising and there are conflicts among those in power. For example, U.S. representative to Venezuela Elliott Abrams and Republican Senator to Florida Marco Rubio do not have an agreement and they publicly expose their differences about a possible military intervention,” he commented.

Following this logic, in order to understand why Guaido has vanished from headlines and the lack of interest about him abroad is in its worst moment, we have to take into account the role played by other strategists, such as U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence.

“They think that they can create reality by naming it,” Sequera stressed. “It is a constant neoconservative attitude: they think they create realities and that is just madness from any perspective.”

It is also necessary to add Venezuela’s profound cultural aspects that mark the country and Chavismo’s nature and its idiosyncrasy, deeply rooted in a very important sector of the (Venezuelan) society, growing more and getting better organized day to day.

Another noteworthy aspect that would explain Guaido’s defeat is that the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela talked to those who were already convinced. Perez Pirela told Sputnik that “he is a political marketing [campaign] whose target is not Venezuelans from small towns, provinces or poor areas in Caracas. The role played by Guaido was not successfully created regardless of their efforts.”

Once again, “it was created for the upper middle class who are protesting in wealthy areas of the capital city. Juan Guaido has not made the Venezuelan people rouse to revolt,” he affirmed.

Guaido is on a tour around the country during Easter holidays. He announced the tour as an important part of the so-called “Operation Freedom” weeks ago, amid his roadmap to “end usurpation,” to get rid from Nicolas Maduro.

So far, he visited the central western states of Zulia and Falcon and has not been inany headline in the national or international press. The Caribbean country is amid holidays and no-vacancy signs are hanging on hostels.


Source: Resumen Latinoamericano, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano North America bureau