Venezuela’s insurgent leader Juan Guaidó can’t get no satisfaction.
But Mick Jagger’s ex may help start him up on a new path to oust strongman Nicolás Maduro.
The Brits have hired The Stones frontman’s former flame, Vanessa Neumann, as an envoy to Guaidó as he attempts to revive his struggling opposition efforts to loosen the socialist dictator’s grip on power.
“It’s my dream job, but it’s also a very strange job,” Neumann told The Times of London.
Because of the tricky and fast-developing political situation in Venezuela, the 47-year-old socialite has not been made an ambassador to the troubled nation, though Britain is one of 50 countries, including the US, to recognize Guaidó as the legitimate leader.
She has no office and no salary, and is living at a friend’s house in west London, envoy to a government still struggling to take power.
“I’m a start-up embassy,” she said with a smile.
As for the ongoing stand-off there, she said, “Of course it’s frustrating but I think it will end. We do have signs of fracture in the regime. I think they’ll run for the hills if they think there are real people with real weapons turning up. They’re cowards. They’re bullies.”
Unlike the US, the Brits still have an embassy in Caracas. And they’ve got a history of helping upstarts in Venezuela, including Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Miranda, who ousted the Spanish in 1811.
Neumann, who grew up in Caracas and New York, said she wanted to see Britain treat the Maduro regime as “the transnational crime organization that it is” and start seizing its assets, including three properties in London. Her hope is that the UK will boot Maduro’s ambassador, Rocio Maneiro, from the country.
Meanwhile, 1,000 or so Venezuelans answered Guaidó’s call to hit the streets in Caracas Saturday in support of the opposition-led National Assembly, a far cry from the vast crowds that marched in recent months.
Many supporters, including members of the military, are demoralized and fear a crackdown after the April 30 attempt to overthrow Maduro fizzled when military leaders failed to heed Guaidó’s call for action.
The march came days after security forces arrested National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano, Guaidó’s No. 2. Several other lawmakers have scrambled for refuge in the embassies of foreign countries as they seek to avoid security forces.
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