Thursday, January 10, 2019

Maduro's Illegitimate Inauguration

I'm quoted in this story about the pressures being put on Nicolás Maduro as he is inaugurated for a term widely seen as illegitimate. My basic point is that just talking might not be enough. Illegitimate regimes can go on as long as they have the military's support. (Note that after the inauguration there was a ceremony at the military academy).

And that's the obvious unknown here. We do know there are rumblings from time to time, and that the government periodically feels compelled to punish officers who get out of line. We don't know the full extent of the gap between the rank and file and the generals, a gap that launched Hugo Chávez himself. We don't know what conversations Maduro and the generals have. Given our lack of information, it's equally possible that we wake up tomorrow morning to find Maduro ousted or wake up to find everything just limping along as it was.

I do find it interesting that Maduro is showing how the Lima Group got under his skin. He gave them 48 hours to recognize it or else. He can't really punish them so I don't know what the "else" is, but this shows he cares. Does he care because he feels the military getting edgy or just because he's thin-skinned?


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