What Happened: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has removed Gen. Christopher Figuera as head of the National Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) after he reportedly backed an opposition uprising led by Juan Guaido, Infobae reported May 1.
Why It Matters: Figuera's removal may allow Maduro to deflect the threat that SEBIN posed to his continued rule. The president is likely to appoint a more loyal commander to root out dissident forces within the intelligence service.
Background: In backing Guaido's April 30 uprising attempt, Figuera ordered SEBIN officials to assist the opposition leader, although he later issued a letter reaffirming his loyalty to Maduro while criticizing the current government's shortcomings.
- Venezuela: A Guaido-Led Military Uprising Appears Underway (April 30, 2019)
- In Venezuela, the Tide Is Turning on the Opposition (April 17, 2019)
- Venezuela: Maduro Lays the Groundwork for Guaido’s Arrest (April 2, 2019)