What is the factual basis for Guaido and his supporters' claim that Maduro's election as president is not valid?


It's not that the actual election procedure was problematic, it's that political opponents of Maduro were jailed, or have fled the country. In those circumstances, you could not call the 2018 Venezuelan elections free or fair.

However, this is not an uncommon practice in Latin America, the middle east or so Asia. In Brazil, Lula De Silva, a massively popular pink tide, progressive politician was jailed and prevented from running for president last year too. America, Canada, the EU etc turned a blind eye to this. Based on polls, Lula would have won the 2018 election by a landslide,instead, Bolsonaro was elected, and I hope we're all aware of his record regarding political opponents, indigenous people, the environment, the lgbt community etc. So while Maduro cannot claim to have won free and fair elections, nor can Bolsonaro. The reasons why Venezuela is being targeted for regime change and not Brazil should be obvious to all.

You also have to take into context the long history of American backed coups and regime change war efforts in Latin America, always in support of far right extremists and dictators who are open to privatization of state resources by American multinationals, and the fact that Venezuela has already weathered such coup attempts, even a drone assassination attempt. I'm not saying that this excuses arresting political opponents, but it should be presented as a part of the context at the very least, if we're not to present a disingenuous, one side argument.

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    Misses out a lot, most importantly the supreme court stacking and subsequent 'disqualification' of the national Assembly, and the fact Maduro has not been sworn in as required by the Venezuelan constitution. The downvote is for the conspiracy thworism going on with the Brazil segue, which also ignores the fact the situations are very different such as on a 'the country is collapsing' level. – user19831 Mar 2 '19 at 20:29
  • The history of the US often supporting far-right dictators is true, but if you're trying to apply it to Guaidó it falls a bit short. So far as I can tell Guaidó is best described as a social democrat in the European mold. His party, Voluntad Popular, is known for radical right wing policies like supporting LBGT rights and wanting to tax large oil corporations and devote the money in a solidarity fund. If he becomes a dictator instead of, or even after, holding free elections (hopefully he won't), he probably wouldn't accurately be described as a far-right extremist. – Obie 2.0 Mar 2 '19 at 22:12
  • Further, while Trump's motives for supporting Guaidó over Maduro are indeed far from benevolent (though they seem to have much to do with trying to get a political boost heading into 2020), the situation in Brazil differs in several not-irrelevant ways. – Obie 2.0 Mar 2 '19 at 22:18
  • First, barring a candidate from running as Lula was, to say nothing of a major one, is a grave offense against democracy. However, so far as I can tell, Bolsonaro wasn't behind it, but rather took advantage of it. By contrast, Maduro has used imprisonment and the concomitant electoral disqualification as a tool to ensure he retains power, making it a much more dictatorial action. None of this should minimize the threat posed by Bolsonaro, though: with Brazil's history of dictatorship, and his open admiration for it, he stands a high chance of turning into a dictator perhaps worse than Maduro. – Obie 2.0 Mar 2 '19 at 22:24
  • Second, Maduro has gone further than mere imprisonment, including disqualifying whole parties, which would be more like barring Haddad from running as well. He's also engaged in the sort of election schemes that Bolsonaro simply didn't have the opportunity to do, as well as exercising rigid media control and numerous extrajudicial killings. There's evidence that Bolsonaro is headed in this direction, such as the suspicious murder of the activist Marielle Franco, but he's not there yet. – Obie 2.0 Mar 2 '19 at 22:30

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