On Thursday, Juan Guaido woke up and doused himself with a bucket of water.
It was his shower. Like millions of Venezuelans, the man who dozens of countries recognize as the legitimate leader of his broken country can’t rely on the taps to run. “It’s one of the things I hate most,” the 35-year-old lawmaker said in an interview. “It’s a symbol of poverty, and during much of my life I had to do it.”
And yet, he was for the most part characteristically upbeat, exuding that can-do spirit that his followers love and his detractors find naive, as he talked about how Venezuela would have to tolerate much more suffering in order to topple Nicolas Maduro’s autocratic regime. Despite the pain, he said, the U.S. shouldn’t ease up on the sanctions that are deepening the worst economic crisis in the country’s history.
“It’s going to get worse” before things turn, he warned.