Politicians in Washington, Bogotá, Brasília and several other capitals are getting very nervous these days. They have planned the overthrow of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, but their action has quickly lost momentum and could even fail.
The Venezuelan opposition politician and parliamentary leader, Juan Guaidó, declared himself president of the South American country on January 23, making a very generous interpretation of the Venezuelan constitution and promptly receiving a series of previously agreed support letters from more than 40 countries, including Germany. It was followed by impressive mass demonstrations on the streets of Caracas, a few military men and an ambassador explained their change to the subversives. But now?
Nicolás Maduro is still sitting in the presidential palace, demos have subsided, and most of the military have stayed true to the previous regime. Of course, the tide can still turn Venezuela is always good for surprises, but the actions of the subversives and their helpers around the world are becoming increasingly nervous. Diplomatic crisis meetings reported: The Brazilian foreign minister met the US National Security Advisor in Washington, representatives of a number of Maduro hostile governments from South America came together in Canada and so on.
Intelligence and police obey
In the United States scolds Marco Rubio, US Senator for Florida, via his Twitter account (@marcorubio) every few hours about the "inhumane" regime in Caracas, calls on military officials to overflow and threatened with interventions. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently pointed out that the Maduro regime is allegedly harboring Hezbollah fighters, which is actually showing signs. But something in the current situation is also a signal: Any terrorist threat is usually conjured up in the US in order to tune the population to a military strike. President Donald Trump and his deputy Mike Pence have both expressly held open an invasion of Venezuela. The White House has just published a propaganda video in which Maduro is compared to Stalin, Mussolini and Saddam Hussein.
But this escalation of rhetoric now looks like a sign of despair. In Caracas, which is what political scientists sometimes call fear-busting, it's all about situations where all parties take high risks, and who's the first to pinch has lost. In the textbooks, this is usually illustrated by the fact that two cars rushing towards each other on a one-lane road and the nervous weaker steers straight into the bushes just before the collision – to save lives for both drivers, but at the price of defeat.
In Caracas, Maduro's political survival depends above all on the loyalty of his military – at least that is what most observers see there. Maduro still has its National Guard (a particularly loyal part of the military) under its control, as well as a loose group of paramilitary militia who vow to preserve the socialist revolution of Maduro's predecessor, who died in 2013 Comandante Hugo Chávez, have done. The dreaded secret service of the country apparently obeys very well, as does the police.
A change of military, a chain reaction of overflowing generals and other top forces, had been a few weeks ago, the expected scenario of the Umstürzler. From Brasília to Washington, the intelligence services apparently reported that Maduro was off the beaten track, so that large parts of the military would turn against him quickly. In fact, there is a lot of dissatisfaction in the military, and more than 4,000 ordinary soldiers are said to have deserted in the past few months. They and their families, like the rest of the population, suffer from the widespread collapse of the supply situation under Maduro's mismanagement.