CARACAS (Reuters) – A change in government in Venezuela would favor the country’s two main foreign creditors Russia and China, Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido pauses as he speaks during an interview with Reuters in Caracas, Venezuela January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Guaido said he had sent communications to both allies of President Nicolas Maduro, who accuses Guaido of staging a coup against his socialist administration. The United States and a number of other countries now recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state.
“What most suits Russia and China is the country’s stability and a change of government,” he said. “Maduro does not protect Venezuela, he doesn’t protect anyone’s investments, and he is not a good deal for those countries.”
Guaido was speaking from his Caracas home where earlier on Thursday agents from a feared special police unit turned up to ask for his wife, a sign of increasing pressure Maduro is putting on the opposition.
In the interview, he said he “had no fear” of a possible arrest after the Supreme Court approved the opening of a preliminary investigation into his actions on Tuesday, imposing a travel ban and a freeze on his bank accounts.
Guaido said the Venezuelan government would be “responsible” to its creditors and bondholders. Guaido does not yet control any of the state’s functions, which remain loyal to Maduro despite the opposition’s calls for defections.
Guaido said he was evaluating how to take control of state-run oil firm PDVSA’s U.S. unit Citgo, Venezuela’s biggest foreign asset, as the Trump administration tries to use the company as leverage to topple Maduro.
The U.S. government and Guaido are trying to appoint a new board of directors for Citgo.
Under a future government, PDVSA would remain in state hands, Guaido said, adding the top priority would be on recovering production in the devastated oil sector.
“We are here to provide certainty to the economy, society and in politics,” he said.
Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel