this Time, Maduro is due. This time, he will plunge, Jo is convinced. Either through an Intervention of the military. Or escape into exile. No matter. “The main thing is that the dictator is gone. This new crisis, he did not survive.”

Jo Gomez, 30, a social worker, is in the latest protests on the streets of Caracas again on the road. He leads a group of 20 young opponents of the regime from the slum district of Petare. Go to the peaceful demonstrations in the centre. Drag but also with stones and Molotov cocktails in the battle against the police and the national guard. Above all, they try to convince the soldiers in their quarters, to switch the pages.

the game ball in the rings of the powers

they are the base for the Rebellion. The Street Fighters. “What always helps to overthrow the dictator,” says Jo.

The star met Jo for the first Time in front of one and a half years. At that time, we escorted his small group demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans against the socialist government. President Maduro came under pressure, then hit back with heavy weapons. With raids and arrests. With the resources of an autocrat. Friends of Jo died. Others ended up in prison. Maduro remained in Power. Until today.

“at the Time, he had the whole military behind,” says Jo. “And the better weapons from Russia and China. But today, the Rest of the world is behind us.”

He makes the crucial point: Venezuela has long been an international focal point. A game ball in the struggle of the powers. The people can cause on the road a lot. But Moscow and Washington to decide.

Jo is a wiry guy who wanted to be a professional basketball player. After the Failure of this project he hung around long on the roads Petares and joined a Gang, to he repeated as a street worker, even children from the street and its appeal in the struggle for liberation of Venezuela.


The former commander-in-chief, Nicolás Maduro, responded in a speech of the Constitution as a booklet and Venezuelan Oil

©Cristian Hernandez/Imago

In contrast to 2017, he is now confident of victory: “now at last We have an opposition leader who can unite the country. We also have many former supporters of the regime on our side, the Chavistas.” Among them, some members of the military. But especially the simple people. The impoverished bakery next door. The mother, no baby food anymore. “People are starving. The hospitals have no medicines,” describes Jo in a telephone conversation, the catastrophic situation in Caracas. “Water supply and electricity. The money is nothing more value.”

this year will achieve the Inflation according to the IMF, the absurd ten million percent.

about 20 years Ago, Jo’s parents and the Chavistas, supporters of Hugo Chavez moved, in the fight, corrupt rulers to get rid of. Now your children in the fight, corrupt Chavistas in Power to get rid of.

you have made a 180-degree turn.

Jo wants to make of Petare on the way to the center of the square, Simón Bolívar. Shooting he can not. “We live in a dictatorship,” he says. “You get in jail.”

banana Republic

In the center of Caracas, he would like to see the man, to allow for the change: the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, 35, one of his Generation. He is suddenly the great hope of Venezuela. The new Star. The link between the base in the quarters and world politics. No one knew the young engineer until he was four weeks ago, the Chairman of the former national Assembly. Short hand-he called for interim President of Venezuela. The reason: Maduro have as President has no legitimacy.

The self-appointment may sound a little banana Republic. But they produced the desired effect.

Jo didn’t know Guaidó before. He knew otherwise, each of the former opposition leaders, some personally. But the were taken either fixed or went into exile or fell out with each other. Guaidó is about the number ten.

“He’s Right,” says Jo. “He has managed to unite all the currents. Others were more of the middle class. He includes the poor like us.”

in fact, Guaidó on this day, announces Amnesty laws, to signal the regime supporters that they have little to fear from him. He embraced in his speech, formally, the military, the far, Maduro Loyalty. But he says to his followers: “If you dare to arrest me, I ask you, the peaceful struggle to continue.”


so Far, the security forces stood on the side of Maduros and took action against the protesters, as here, on Wednesday of last week in Caracas

©Yuri Cortez/AFP

In the United States Guaidó was until a few weeks ago to anyone a term. Nevertheless, Donald Trump recognized him immediately as interim President. As well as Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and a number of EU member States.

Guaidó lay down the fastest political career of the world. Even so, something in this the Land of the absurdities possible. He is the son of a taxi driver, is now the bridge between the poor districts and Washington. Between the road and the world.

“There’s only one Problem,” says Jo, who is currently in hiding, for fear of raids. “The Russians and the Chinese Guaidó don’t want to. You want to keep the criminal Maduro. But about our destiny, we want to decide – the people. Not abroad.”

China, Venezuela’s largest creditor, has no interest in a change of power, because it has borrowed the socialist brothers of billions of dollars – in exchange for cheap oil. Turkey, a second Ally, similar to, also not, because Venezuela’s autocratic model to the Turkish. And Russia is not, because it has granted the Regime loans in the amount of approximately 17 billion dollars.

Venezuela’s most important socialist state

In the case of Venezuela, the world is divided: in the autocracies that want to prevent any democratisation and the free world.

Russia warns of “criminal” behavior of the United States and disastrous consequences, as Venezuela could trigger a major conflict between the powers.

this is Also a twist in the tale: Putin and Trump, they got along seemingly, to each other now in many corners of the world. Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, Nicaragua.

Venezuela, 32 million inhabitants, almost three times as large as Germany, has the largest oil deposits in the world. Russia is losing here, not much on the continent.

in Venezuela also another question: now the last socialist States? Venezuela – the most important thing. In Nicaragua, long of Venezuela supported the autocratic President Daniel Ortega with his back to the wall. In Bolivia, the increasingly unpopular Evo scolds Morales against the “Claws of imperialism” of the United States, but even to peculiar methods in order to remain in Power. Only in Cuba, long dependent on Venezuela’s Free Oil shipments, the Regime is fairly consolidated.

The real question now is: What will make the military? Some are already deserted. A few days ago, Venezuela’s military attaché in the United States, Colonel José Luis Silva, the pages moved: “Today I am addressing the people of Venezuela and especially to my brothers in the armed forces: Recognize President Juan Guaidó as the only legitimate President.”

Jo believes: “The military will be the Maduro from the Palace.”

And then?

Humanitarian aid

First of all, Venezuela need a lot of humanitarian aid. Then, the return of entrepreneurs and academics; more than three million people have fled since the beginning of the crisis. Then Jo sees a great future for his country, once the richest in South America.

And he? Part of the government?

“I feel the road,” he says. “I want to stay street worker.”