Singleton: A new leader in Venezuela creates hope

Singleton: A new leader in Venezuela creates hope

 

The latest showdown between Venezuela’s illegitimate regime and its opposition may be the first real breakthrough for democracy there in 20 years. Since the country began its post-Chavez decline in 2013, there have been many moments when onlookers suggested that the regime was going to collapse. Instead, what we witnessed was the collapse of a nation in slow motion, at the hands of a narco-kleptocracy.

This time feels different. A new leader has emerged from a loose coalition of parties that has struggled for years to challenge the regime. In the last month, Juan Guaido, an acolyte of opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez and former student leader, has risen as president of the National Assembly to declare himself the president of the Republic.

Approximately 12 countries have now recognized the legitimacy of Guaido, with the United States leading the charge to throw its support to the 35-year-old on Jan. 23. Guaido’s clear constitutional claim to power, along with a willingness to take on the disaster he will inherit, has finally given our government an option beyond sitting on its hands.