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Gideon Long in Caracas

When Juan Guaidó burst on to Venezuela’s political stage in January, declaring himself interim president in front of thousands of cheering supporters and securing the backing of the US and some 50 other countries, it seemed like the opposition had finally found its man.

After years of internal squabbling, here was a leader who galvanised opposition to President Nicolás Maduro. With his sharp suits and the air of a young Barack Obama, the 35-year-old head of Congress spoke confidently of ousting the president and leading a transitional government towards new elections.

But nearly a year later his movement is in disarray. Mr Maduro has resisted all attempts to topple him and enjoys the support of Russia, China, Cuba and his own armed forces. Norwegian-brokered talks between the government and the opposition have fizzled out.