Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Venezuela Coup Rumors

Via Adam Isacson, a story about rumors of a Venezuelan coup, largely from Stratfor but with the implication of broader rumors. Here is the key of the Stratfor report:

According to information from Stratfor sources, military commanders and auxiliary security forces known as colectivos will coordinate with the majority of PSUV congress members to prevent Maduro from returning to power once he returns to the country. Maduro is abroad on a state visit that took him to China and Russia as well as Iran, and he has so far not provided a return date. Venezuelan Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez, is also part of the delegation accompanying Maduro.

Who knows what sources these are, but obviously it is something to watch. It does not take a genius to see that Maduro is in a very fragile political position, but that is a long way from a coup.

Maduro has spent a lot of time talking about coup plots, but never one from within. If such a thing were to happen, the results can hardly be good. Given the reality of oil prices, there is nothing a new leader could do much differently at this point without unraveling the chavista project and thereby sparking even more conflict.


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