Making his first public appearance since the chaotic events began to unfold, Maduro went on state TV late Tuesday, looking tired but calm and denouncing what he labeled a “foolish” and “failed” coup instigated by the United States. Flanked by top government and military officials, he called for a mass demonstration of supporters on Wednesday and denied Pompeo’s assertion that he was preparing to leave Caracas on Tuesday.
After three months of deadlock, Venezuela’s crisis appears to be no closer to resolution than it was in January. Maduro remains entrenched as the de facto president with the backing of the military, and the opposition has made few tangible gains. U.S. sanctions are adding to the Venezuelan people’s misery, but they are unlikely to bring down the regime. Guaido’s repeated attempts to force the issue and drive a wedge between Maduro and the military have been unsuccessful, and with each failed attempt the convenient fiction that he is the president of Venezuela becomes untenable. The de facto government enjoys Cuban and Russian backing, and so far that has proven to be enough to keep Maduro in place. Despite bluster from administration officials demanding that Russians and Cubans leave the country, Maduro’s international supporters show no signs of abandoning him or the regime. Guaido has not been able to gain many supporters among the military, and the supporters he does have are few in number:
As the day unfolded, it became less clear that Guaidó had the support of the full military, said Venezuela security expert Brian Fonseca, a former Marine and U.S. Southern Command intelligence analyst who now serves as the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University.
“What we saw today so far is some elements of the National Guard, some general officers from the National Guard” actually support Guaidó, Fonseca said. He estimated that the total number of forces behind Guaidó was likely only in the hundreds. “To me, the most important, powerful branch is the Army and we are not seeing the types of fractures there,” Fonseca said.
Switching sides to back the opposition is an obvious risk that many officers won’t want to take, and so far Guaido has not given them much reason to take the risk. No one is going to stick his neck out for an uprising that seems doomed to fail, and until the opposition can make it seem as if they have a chance of winning most of the military is going to stay on the side of the regime or remain neutral.
Trump railed against Cuba’s involvement and appeared to threaten them if they don’t withdraw their forces from Venezuela:
President Trump on Monday accused Cuba of aiding the government of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, who the administration evidently hoped would be ousted by day’s end, warning that it would impose an embargo and additional sanctions …read more
Via:: American Conservative
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