Venezuela’s Maduro Doesn’t Appear to Be Going Anywhere. What Now? – New York Magazine


Nicolas Maduro speaks during a military parade on April 13, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Photo: Marco Bello/Getty Images

When Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared Nicolás Maduro’s government illegitimate and claimed the presidency, he assured his backers abroad that the rank and file of the country’s armed forces were on his side and would turn on the regime in a matter of weeks, as his popular uprising gained momentum.

That was in January. Nearly three months later, while Guaidó’s protest movement continues and about 1,500 Venezuelan soldiers have defected to neighboring countries, the pace of defections has slowed and the military remains solidly aligned with Maduro. For both Guaidó and the Trump administration, that’s a problem, because the military is the final guarantor of Maduro’s job security and will ultimately decide whether he stays or goes. So far, it seems to have decided that he stays, which raises some serious questions about Guaidó’s future and that of the Trump administration’s efforts to shepherd Maduro out of power.

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