Venezuela's Friends and Foes Square Off Over Maduro

Jan 26, 2019 | 16:39 GMT

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, left, meet at the Revolution Palace in Havana on April 21, 2018.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, left, meet in Havana on April 21, 2018. The United States wants Maduro gone from power, but countries like Cuba will pull out all the stops to slow his departure.



  • Russia, China and Cuba will attempt to keep Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in office while the United States and its allies in Venezuela's political opposition ratchet up pressure to hasten his departure.
  • Havana and Moscow will become directly involved in trying to safeguard or prolong Maduro's rule.
  • Brazil and Colombia will work to force Maduro from power, but their ability to pressure Caracas will be limited compared to that of the United States.
  • Events on the ground, as well as Maduro's ability to keep Venezuela's armed forces on his side, will determine whether the leader stays in place or soon leaves power.
  • A formal negotiation period could delay Maduro's removal, so the opposition will try to win over as many military commanders and soldiers as possible in the short term.

The widespread international recognition of Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim successor to Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela has raised the stakes for Venezuelans -- as well as nations with an interest in the troubled South American country. Those nations, chief among them the United States, Russia, China, Cuba, Brazil and Colombia, are sharply split between those that favor Maduro's rapid departure and those that -- for largely financial and economic reasons -- would prefer him to remain in place. Whatever their respective reasons, both camps will endeavor to mold events in Venezuela in their favor. For its part, the United States will rely on a combination of sanctions pressure and opposition demonstrations to turn key members of the armed forces against Maduro. But countries that have close ties with the current government will do everything in their power to delay -- if not outright avert -- Maduro's departure...

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