|Acting President of Venezuela
11 January 2019
Disputed with Nicolás Maduro
|Preceded by||Nicolás Maduro|
|10th President of the National Assembly of Venezuela|
5 January 2019
|Preceded by||Omar Barboza|
|Federal Deputy for Vargas|
5 January 2016
Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez
(1983-07-28) 28 July 1983
La Guaira, Venezuela
|Political party||Voluntad Popular
|Education||Andrés Bello Catholic University
George Washington University
Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez (born 28 July 1983) is a Venezuelan engineer and politician currently serving as the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, in office since January 2019. A member of the Popular Will party, he serves as a federal deputy representing the state of Vargas.
He was declared the interim President of Venezuela on 11 January 2019 by the National Assembly upon Nicolás Maduro being sworn in for a second term as president, although Maduro is still believed to be in power.
Early life and education
One of eight children, Guaidó was raised in a middle-class home by his parents who were an airline pilot and a teacher. One grandfather was a sergeant of the Venezuelan National Guard while another grandfather was a captain in the Venezuelan Navy.
After living through the Vargas tragedy of 1999 which left his family temporarily homeless, Guaidó earned his high school diploma in 2000. The tragedy, according to his colleagues, influenced his political views after the then-new government of Hugo Chávez provided ineffective response to the disaster.
Guaidó later earned his professional license as an industrial engineer after graduating from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in 2007. Guaidó also did postgraduate studies at George Washington University in the United States and at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración.
He was part of a student-led political movement that protested against the Venezuelan government's decision not to renew the broadcasting license of independent television network RCTV. The group also protested broader attempted reforms of the government by Hugo Chavez's regime, including the constitutional referendum of 2007.
Venezuelan National Assembly
In the 2010 parliamentary elections, Guaidó was elected to a seat as an alternate federal deputy,  and was elected to a full seat in the National Assembly in the 2015 elections by earning 97,492 votes (26.01%) of the vote. Despite being severely impoverished, a majority of employers in Vargas are government companies, and, thus, until Guaidó's 2015 election, Chavista rule in the state was unchallenged.
In 2017, Guaidó was named head of Comptroller's Commission of the National Assembly and in 2018, he was named head of the legislature's opposition. He also contributed to the research of Jennifer Cyr at the University of Arizona in 2017.
During his time in the National Assembly, Guaidó investigated corruption cases surrounding the Maduro administration, as well as operating alongside independent organizations to return money stolen from the Venezuelan public. He also participated in the 2017 Venezuelan protests and was left scarred on his neck after he was shot by authorities armed with rubber bullets.
President of the National Assembly
Guaidó was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019. Relatives of political prisoners were invited to the inauguration, gathering on the balcony behind the banner of Juan Requesens. Upon taking office, he vowed to oppose Nicolás Maduro, who has been accused of wanting to usurp executive power by remaining in office past the expiration of his presidential term, set to expire on 10 January 2019, officiating an eight-point action plan. On 15 January 2019, the National Assembly approved legislation that works with dozens of foreign countries to request that these nations freeze Maduro administration bank accounts.
Several Latin American leaders have called for Maduro to turn executive power over to the National Assembly at the end of his term in office, and for new elections to be held in an attempt to restore democracy.
Assumption of presidential powers and duties
After what he and others described as the "illegitimate" inauguration of Maduro on 10 January 2019, Guaidó announced he would challenge Maduro's claim and held a rally the following day, where the National Assembly announced he had assumed the powers and duties of president and they would continue to plan to remove Maduro, contributing to the presidential crisis.
Guaidó's ascension was supported most prominently by the Organization of American States. Individual governments including Brazil, Chile, Colombia and the United States have also recognized Guaidó as the acting president of Venezuela.
Detention and release
On 13 January 2019, while on his way to La Guaira, to attend the Open Cabildo called for that day, he was intercepted by members of the SEBIN and subsequently detained. He was released by authorities 45 minutes later.
The Lima Group condemned the act, as did the secretary of the OAS, Luis Almagro. On the same day, he declared himself as acting president. The government attributed the fact that it was carried out unilaterally by the SEBIN personnel involved, and an arrest warrant was issued to the Intelligence Service Commissioner, Idelmaro Múcura, designated as responsible. In this regard, Guaidó declared that after the events it was demonstrated that there was a break in the chain of command in the Armed Forces.
Twelve SEBIN officials were arrested and imprisoned following the event and were held to await trial. They were charged with "illegitimate detention" and "abuse of functions".
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Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s president, agreed: 'Chile does not recognise the regime of Nicolás Maduro . . . We give our full support to the National Assembly . . . and its new head Juan Guaidó.'
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