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Venezuela's interim president, Juan Guaidó, on Thursday was due Thursday to unveil a national reconstruction plan dubbed the 'Country Plan' (Plan País) as part of his efforts to form a credible transition government to replace the internationally repudiated regime of Nicolás Maduro.
In the works for at least a year, the plan is the result of a series of meetings held in Venezuela and the United States, some public and others private, involving a cross-section of Venezuelan society, according to several sources who spoke with Univision.
"It's had the participation of politicians unions, businessmen, all the best experts inside and outside the country," said one of the participants, Gustavo Marcano , a former Venezuelan mayor from the state of Anzoategui, who fled political persecution in 2017.
"There's nothing clandestine about it. There were open university forums with a broad participation of experts," added Marcano, citing a public meeting in December at a theater in Caracas under the title, 'Country Plan: the Venezuela of the day after' in which the preliminary results were presented.
Other meetings took place in Boston and Miami. Among the participants were the distinguished economist Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Center for International Development at Harvard, as well as opposition politicians from different political parties, including Carlos Vecchio, who was recently appointed as Guaidó's diplomatic representative, or chargé d'affaires, in Washington, as well as Julio Borges, an opposition leader exiled in Colombia.
The plan was developed in consultation with Venenezuela's most celebrated opposition leader, Leopoldo López, according to several participants. López is under house arrest in Caracas under strict conditions that limit his political activity, and sources told Univision he participated via skype.
The plan includes a detailed sector-by-sector blueprint of the reconstruction needs of the country once Maduro is pushed aside. "It's been vetted by everyone. There is nothing improvised about this, nor is it a product of the United States. It's a 100% Venezuelan-made plan, prepared by Venezuelans inside and outside the country, "Marcano said.
The meetings went almost unnoticed in the media. "It passed people by. Skeptics were saying that in order for Venezuela to get to the day after first you have to resolve the day before," Marcano explained.
While the plan is an important sign of new unity and organization by the forces lined up against Maduro, the organizers of 'Plan País' say they remain acutely aware that a lot needs to happen before the plan can begin to be implemented, including Maduro's removal and the securing of billions of dollars in international funding.
"The time is now and Venezuela is ready for change," Vecchio said on Wednesday at a forum of the Atlantic Council, a Washignton D.C. think tank.
"Now what we need is more international pressure, they can't abandon us now," said Ramón Muchacho, another exiled mayor who participated in some of the meetings. "It has to increase in the next few days to isolate the usurper (Maduro)."
Maduro on Wednesday rejected new presidential elections and called on the Armed Forces to stay loyal to his government. In a tweet, he wrote: "People of the USA, I ask for your support to reject the interference of the government of Donald Trump which is seeking to make My Homeland a Vietnam in Latin America. Don't Let Him!"