Juan Guaido vs Nicolas Maduro - Venezuela News

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Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s faltering efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro are facing a new challenge in the form of an influence-peddling scandal that has left disillusioned Venezuelans wondering if Guaido’s moment has passed. Guaido on Sunday said the opposition-controlled congress would investigate alleged wrongdoing within its ranks after website Armando.info reported that nine opposition lawmakers had advocated for a businessman linked to Maduro’s government. To a dozen Venezuelans interviewed by Reuters around the country, the scandal has marked another blow to Guaido’s reputation and to their hopes of seeing the back of the deeply unpopular Maduro, who has presided over a five-year economic crisis and an expanding authoritarian state. For Mario Silva, an engineer waiting by a bus stop in the crumbling western city of Maracaibo, it was time to move on. “Guaido missed his moment,” the 60-year-old said. When Guaido declared an interim presidency in January in a bold challenge to Maduro, Silva joined millions of Venezuelans in celebrating the arrival of a fresh-faced politician who had united the oft-fractured opposition and was untainted by its previous scandals. Silva had backed the “socialist revolution” led by the late Hugo Chavez and for a while supported his successor, Maduro, until, he said, Venezuela’s worsening poverty and widespread corruption became too obvious to ignore. “I saw Guaido as a salvation for the country, but he, like Chavez, disappointed me,” Silva said. Guaido has been recognized by more than 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. But, despite…

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