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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó is teaching at Florida International University. But it's only for a while

2023-09-28
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MIAMI -- The Venezuelan opposition leader once recognized as the president of the country will be teaching at a South Florida university. Juan Guaidó, who was recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela by the United States and dozens of countries until early 2023, will be a visiting professor at Florida International University, according to a post he made on X, formerly known as Twitter. "It's a new platform and opportunity to talk about the challenges of defending democracy, resisting a dictatorship and supporting the most vulnerable," he said in Spanish on X. Guaidó, 40, joined a fellowship program through the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom, which FIU describes as a "world-class, independent, non-partisan think tank" with a mission "to advance economic and individual freedom and human prosperity." He will be at FIU for the fall semester and will lead seminars, participate in talks and mentor students, according to FIU's website. Guaidó's biography on the website describes him as a "widely recognized leader worldwide" who "transcended borders by demonstrating an unwavering commitment to democracy." "Overall, his vision, leadership and extensive experience make him a key player in the development and analysis of committed and transformative perspectives, not only for Venezuela, but for the global political scenario," his profile says. A brief look at Guaidó A household name in South Florida's Venezuelan diaspora, Guaidó, an engineer by trade, was the figurehead of the country's democratic movement from January 2019 to January 2023. He was considered the interim president of Venezuela after the Venezuelan National Assembly declared that Nicolás Maduro had usurped the presidency. Venezuela's opposition parties have controlled the National Assembly since 2015, when the last elections seen as free and fair were held. Support for Guaidó eroded over the years as other opposition leaders expressed frustration that his term as interim president failed to oust Maduro's and provide a democratic transition. In April 2023, Guaidó said Colombian authorities threatened to turn him over to Maduro after entering the country for a forum about the Venezuelan crisis. The Biden administration helped Guaidó leave Colombia and come to Miami. In May, his wife and two daughters joined him in Miami. _____ (Miami Herald staff writers Michael Wilner and Antonio Maria Delgado contributed to this report)

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