Today, President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela is facing a direct challenge to his power. The opposition leader Juan Guaidó, encouraged by, empowered by, supported by and emboldened by the Trump administration, swore himself as President Maduro's interim replacement, even though Maduro is still the democratically elected president of that country. Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, the Organization of American States and the US have also recognized Mr. Guaidó as the country's leader. Mr. Maduro was sworn in as president for a second six-year term on January 10, after a disputed election in May. It is important for Americans to understand that Venezuela is now surrounded by right-wing leaders in Colombia and Brazil, both of which were supported by, if not put in power by the intervention of, the US. In Venezuela, hyperinflation led Maduro to instate a new currency, which in recent months has been losing value as well. More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country for lack of food and medicine. All of these problems have been exacerbated if not caused by sanctions and other types of intervention and manipulation of the US. This so-called crisis in Venezuela is not organic; it is caused by external intervention, which the US is so offended by, as it claims Russia has tried to do here. What does this mean for Venezuela? Who is Juan Guaidó, and how has he come to the forefront as the leader of the National Assembly?
In the wake of the Los Angeles Unified School District teachers' strike ending, United Teachers Los Angeles says its members overwhelming support a new contract agreement with the district. The union and the school board still must officially ratify the pact. Another western school district is set to go out on strike. After more than a year of tense negotiations with the school district, Denver teachers overwhelmingly voted to strike late Tuesday. Following two days of voting, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) announced that 93 percent of its members approved a strike after negotiations failed. "Denver teachers overwhelmingly agreed to strike," lead negotiator Rob Gould said during a news conference on Tuesday. Members of the DCTA have begun meeting to make signs, write chants and practice picketing, according to CNN affiliate KDVR.
Dr. Gerald Horne — Professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Blows Against the Empire: US Imperialism in Crisis.
Dr. Ajamu Baraka — American political activist and former Green Party nominee for vice president of the United States in the 2016 election.
Tom Porter — African American Studies Department at Ohio University and former director of the King Center in Atlanta.
Henry Roman — President of Denver Classroom Teachers Association.
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