Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro continues to fight for his political life against opposition leader Juan Guaido, the U.S. backed and rightful president. Maduro has asked his entire Cabinet to resign as he struggles to maintain control as the country control dives into a now two-month crisis that includes hyperinflation, starvation, statewide power outages, and daily looting.
In Venezuela, cabinet shakeups are common, however, given the timing it is possible Maduro is attempting to gain internal support and ensure he has the proper internal loyalty to his regime.
We inherited the unshakeable will to fight from the men and women who liberated this continent from the Spanish empire. We will not surrender to any empire! pic.twitter.com/5PDIqJNiS8
— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) March 17, 2019
On Monday, Guaido’s main envoy, Carlos Vecchio, said their opposition group had taken over and seized three diplomatic properties in the U.S. The properties, which are located in New York, were previously controlled by Maduro.
Vecchio added, “They expect to take over the Venezuelan embassy in Washington in the coming days.”
Right after, Guaido chimed in via Twitter that he plans to strengthen the relationship with the U.S. while serving the people of Venezuela through the Venezuelan embassy.
Hemos comenzado a tomar control de las sedes diplomáticas de nuestro gobierno en los Estados Unidos, para fortalecer las relaciones bilaterales y atender oportunamente a la comunidad venezolana en ese país.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 18, 2019
The embassy has been closed since January, when Maduro official broke off diplomatic relationships as the Trump administration formally recognized Guaido as the rightful president.
The Foreign Ministry, which is under Maduro control, called on the U.S. authorities to “fulfill their legal obligations and take necessary measures to undo the occupation.” U.S. authorities have not taken any control of buildings from Guaido. Instead, the recently pulled diplomatic personnel out of Venezuela due to the growing political and economic crisis.
Maduro has publicly vowed to stay as president until at least 2025.
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumni of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs.