Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition leader, as the rightful head of state will have little impact unless the country’s top military brass turns against the socialist dictator, Nicolás Maduro. Sadly, they show little sign of doing that.
Guaidó – aged 35 and president of the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly – had himself sworn in as head of state on Wednesday. Trump formally recognised him minutes later; this was followed in quick succession by Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, joined these calls, saying “the United Kingdom believes Juan Guaidó is the right person to take Venezuela forward.” The EU is calling for new elections but its member states have not yet recognised Guaidó.