Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be inaugurated for a second six-year term today after claiming victory in an election last May that was boycotted by the opposition.
Mr Maduro and his leftist predecessor Hugo Chavez have controlled the presidency since 1999. In 2017 President Trump stated that a military solution was on the cards for removing Maduro from power—40 countries have boycotted his inauguration believing that he was not elected legitimately. Polls show that Maduro’s approval rating was 21%, however he won 68% of the vote in the recent election.
Currently, a military option appears unlikely—US officials were alleged to have met with opposition members that were planning a coup, however, decided against pledging their support. Internal polling demonstrates that the most popular option for political change is a negotiated solution, though this is unlikely given that an organised opposition movement has thus far failed to precipitate change.
Expect the instability to continue—and as a result, the prospect of foreign investment in Venezuela’s lucrative oil industry will remain volatile.
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Marco specialises in the politics and economies of the Former Soviet Union and South Asia, contributing regularly to analysis in The Daily Brief.