Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro blamed Donald Trump directly for the political crisis that his country is experiencing, and qualified his support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó a “great provocation.” He then ordered the closure of his country’s embassy and all consulates in the United States, escalating the war of words between the two leaders.
VICE News was on the ground in Caracas, and spoke to Venezuelan citizens about the realities of their country.
“Maduro has violated the constitution along with the other branches, it’s all taken hostage,” said Dilia Ortiz, an independent local merchant who welcomed American and international support for Guaidó, who swore himself in as president Wednesday.
But others stand by Maduro and support the expulsion of American diplomats announced Tuesday. “They need to grab their bags, go north, and leave us alone,” said William Zamora, a federal worker. “As Venezuelans, we solve our own problems,” he added. Luis Montilla, a steelworker, sees the American pronunciation as a violation of their sovereignty, and said, “the United States can’t impose a president on Venezuela… What he did was wrong.”
Despite the economic challenges and political climate in Venezuela, most of the people we talked to agreed that they wouldn’t want to leave their country if they had the chance.
“I believe my nation is the most beautiful country in the world. Nothing else is up to par,” said Zamora. Alina Toledo, a young publicist on the opposite side of the political spectrum said, “I feel like Venezuela still has a lot to give, and it’s better to be here fighting.”
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