Tags: venezuela | juan gerardo guaido marquez | maduro | trump

Clare Lopez: Chaos in Venezuela

Clare Lopez: Chaos in Venezuela
Riot police on motorcycles clash with opposition demonstrators during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro on the anniversary of the 1958 uprising that overthrew the military dictatorship, in Caracas on January 23, 2019. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 January 2019 05:56 PM

Hundreds of thousands of desperate, hungry, fed-up Venezuelans took to the streets today in cities all over the country after Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez, president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself Interim President.

Statements of official recognition and support quickly followed from U.S. President Donald Trump and senior administration officials, Canada, and many countries in Central and South America. The governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey, notably, remain solidly behind current President Nicolas Maduro.

By day's end, Maduro cut off diplomatic ties with the U.S. and gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. The Trump administration fired back, saying through a spokesman that "all options are on the table."

While the diplomatic, moral, and verbal support of the U.S. and other regional countries is surely important, what will matter even more are several factors likely beyond any of their control.

Will the Venezuelan people remain on the streets this time, no matter what?

Will the Venezuelan military remain loyal to Maduro even to the point of firing live rounds at their fellow Venezuelans? (The answer to that may already be coming into view, as there have been reports of live fire from the Venezuelan Guardia Nacional and casualties earlier today.)

Will Maduro's Cuban, Hizballah, and/or Iranian "security advisors" take an even more active, direct role in putting down what may be the most serious challenge to Maduro's rule yet?

Stay tuned, as Diosdado Cabello, a member of the Venezuelan National Assembly and reportedly one of the most corrupt politicians in the country, has called Maduro supporters to defend Miraflores Palace, the official presidential residence, in downtown Caracas.

Clare M. Lopez is VP for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy. Previously a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a member of Board of Advisors for Canadian Mackenzie Institute, she was named to Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign national security advisory team in 2016. Lopez served with Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and now its successor, Citizens’ Commission on National Security. Formerly VP of Intelligence Summit, she was a career operations officer with Central Intelligence Agency, professor at Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies and Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006. Lopez received a B.A. in Communications and French from Notre Dame College of Ohio and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA, before declining a military commission to join the CIA.

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Hundreds of thousands of desperate, hungry, fed-up Venezuelans took to the streets today in cities all over the country after Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez, president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself Interim President.
venezuela, juan gerardo guaido marquez, maduro, trump
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2019-56-23
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 05:56 PM
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