In Venezuela, the Tide Is Turning on the Opposition

Apr 17, 2019 | 10:30 GMT

A citizen shows his support for Venezuela's current president, Nicolas Maduro, (pictured in the poster on the left), as well as former President Hugo Chavez.

A supporter of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro participates in a march in Caracas to commemorate the late President Hugo Chavez on April 13, 2019.



  • The continued allegiance of high-ranking military officials remains the main obstacle to opposition efforts to unseat Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.  
  • Encouraging officers to desert Maduro and support opposition leader Juan Guaido will be difficult, given the government's ability to threaten or bribe them into remaining loyal. 
  • To expedite Maduro's exit, the United States will increase sanctions against his government and directly dissuade foreign energy companies from doing business in Venezuela.  
  • Maduro's government has also begun laying the foundation for Guaido's arrest, which would complicate and potentially stall the opposition and U.S. push for regime change.

For the first time since opposition leader Juan Guaido announced his bid to unseat President Nicolas Maduro in January, efforts at regime change in Venezuela face the real risk of failure. Though Guaido is free to move about the country and rally crowds against Maduro, there are still no signs he has the support of the key military commanders needed to initiate a prompt and relatively peaceful political transition, despite the United States and the opposition's best efforts. But as long as his military remains loyal, Maduro's government will remain in Caracas -- leaving Guaido, as well as other prominent opposition figures in Venezuela, vulnerable to a crackdown that could end his bid for power altogether. ...

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