In a bid to ramp up the institutional split in Venezuela, the president of the National Assembly (AN) and self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, announced on August 28 that he was appointing his cabinet ministers for economy, foreign policy and finance. Guaidó is tackling the country’s humanitarian emergency head-on to “exert the necessary pressure to achieve the cessation of the usurpation of the Executive Branch.” The appointments have already entered into force.
The appointments are as follows:
- Alejandro Plaz, Presidential Commissioner for Economic Development will be in charge of coordinating strategies for economic and productive recovery and combating poverty. Plaz is a representative of civil society and has collaborated with one of the main opposition leaders, María Corina Machado. In addition, he worked for more than 20 years at McKinsey & Company.
- Julio Borges, Presidential Commissioner for Foreign Affairs. Guaidó said his responsibility will be “to continue increasing diplomatic and financial pressure on the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.” Borges was president of the National Assembly in 2017 and has recently undertaken several international tours asking countries in the region to adopt greater sanctions against Maduro’s government. Borges is currently in exile in Bogotá, Colombia.
- Leopoldo López, Presidential Commissioner for the Government Office. His mission will be to articulate the work of the different commissioners. López is one of the major figures of the Venezuelan opposition. Between 2015 and 2019 he was imprisoned for “public incitement to violence” in the 2014 demonstrations, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ). He is the founder of Voluntad Popular party.
- Javier Troconis, Presidential Commissioner for Asset Management. Guaidó said his function will be to conduct audits of the country’s assets abroad and guarantee the payment of public bonds. Troconis is a member of the ad hoc board of directors of the state oil company Citgo.