Venezuela’s de facto and interim presidents, Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó respectively, fired poisoned darts at one another this week as the prospect of a political resolution to the country’s long-running and multilayered crisis grew yet more distant. Venezuela’s claim to sovereignty over Guyana’s Essequibo region; the presence of Colombian guerrillas on Venezuelan soil; Maduro’s military exercises on the border with Colombia; and Guaidó’s appeal to activate the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR in the Spanish acronym), otherwise known as the Rio Treaty, formed the basis of the latest tensions. The sudden departure, however, of US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who championed the bellicose US approach to the crisis in Venezuela, is a setback for Guaidó.

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