Maduro congratulated the military leadership of the country, who led the “defeat of a small group that tried to fill Venezuela with violence,” and ordered to investigate the attempted incident.
– It will not go unpunished. I spoke with the Prosecutor General, and he appointed three national prosecutors who interrogate all those involved in this event, and they are tasked with conducting an investigation and bringing criminal charges, – he said.
The president said that during the coup five military men were wounded, two of whom are in serious condition.
Recall that in Venezuela on Tuesday, April 30, oppositionists clashed with the forces of law and order. The reason was the call of the self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaydo to a coup d’état. It is reported that the protesters staged riots in the Chacao area, law enforcement officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them.
As the Associated Press Agency reports with reference to the head of the hospital in Chacao, 30 people were injured, 16 were injured and three were gassed, one person was wounded.
It all started after Guaydo on Twitter announced the start of the final phase of Operation Freedom, aimed at overthrowing Nicholas Maduro. He said that he was now meeting with the «main units of our armed forces» and assured that «the end usurpation irreversible».
Guaydo’s call for unrest was openly supported in Washington. Presidential adviser on national security, John Bolton, called on the Venezuelan army to go to the side of the opposition, stressing that the United States hopes to change power in the country “as soon as possible.”
However, the Venezuelan military refused to change the oath. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said that the army would protect order and peaceful life and was ready to use weapons if necessary.
– Those who come to Miraflores (the presidential palace) for the sake of violence will be defeated by violence. If it is necessary to use a weapon, we will apply it, – he stressed.
The Minister of Communications and Information, Jorge Rodriguez, said that the authorities are taking measures against a group of traitors.
– We are informing the people of Venezuela that at these moments we are opposing a small group of traitors who are stationed at the Denistibuidor Altamira junction and are promoting a coup d’etat against the constitution and peace in the republic, – he said.
Meanwhile, the United States announced an attempt by Maduro to flee the country.
In an interview with CNN, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the Venezuelan president was planning to leave for Cuba, but the Russian authorities managed to persuade him not to do so.
– The plane was already on his runway, – Pompeo said, adding that the United States will increase pressure on both Maduro himself and those who support him.
– I’m not sure that he is worried about this. I hope and pray that I’m really worried, – said the Secretary of State.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreas replied to Pompeo that all his statements were an attempt to conceal the failure of a coup d’etat.
– False news … A very sad way to admit that the coup d’état that you supported failed … Again, – he stressed.
– In Venezuela, active political life, is taking place not only and not so much on social networks or on TV, but on the streets of Caracas, – said Stanislav Byshok, executive director of the international monitoring organization CIS-EMO.
– In recent years, the opposition has changed several leaders who, it seemed, could have become a serious threat to the power of Chávez, and then Maduro. In order to preserve his authority as the only leader to unite protest forces today, Juan Guaydo needs to regularly declare himself, while raising the degree of confrontation with Maduro. In addition, it should not be forgotten that the overwhelming majority of the states of America, including the USA, have already recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela. He feels their support and acts very sharply. According to Maduro, a president – or an impostor – with a loan of international trust, much is allowed.
– Why they did not work?
- This is not a separate episode, but a real series, and with several seasons.
The total number of seasons was not originally indicated, but the current one, unlike Game of Thrones, is unlikely to be the last. Today, the balance of power is obviously leaning in favor of Nicolas Maduro and the security forces supporting him. Tomorrow something can change. In the medium term, while maintaining the current dynamics, Chavistic “socialism of the XXI century” does not seem to be viable.
– The United States initially made a bid to bribe the army. Strategy failed?
- Venezuela, like Cuba, for example, does not pose any serious threat to Washington militarily or ideologically. The standoff of the Cold War era, when the United States seriously feared the growth of pro-communist sentiments inspired by the USSR and its allies, was gone. In this regard, the American strategy for regime change in Venezuela may work for another year or ten years – no rush in this matter is required. The ripe apple itself will fall sooner or later. Of course, the Venezuelans who are displeased with Maduro want this to happen earlier, but then, from the point of view of Washington, they need to protest more actively.
– The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Jorge Arreas, pointed out that Washington’s appeals for support of the uprising unconditionally issue the “authorship” of the United States in organizing the coup d’etat. He’s right? Was it a US initiative or an improvisation of Guaydo?
- The Venezuelan situation is reminiscent of the well-known parable about Nasreddin, where everyone is right: both Guaydo, who was appointed as interim president by the opposition parliament Maduro, and loyal Maduro ministers accusing the US of supporting the coup, and Russia, officially opposing any foreign military intervention. political players in the internal affairs of Venezuela. Venezuelans are right, among others, who want to live at least “like under Chavez”. Another question is that neither in Washington, nor in Caracas, nor anywhere else does a magic wand exist that could organize all this.
– Is it possible to say that Maduro’s power got off easily yesterday? Will there be more attempts?
– The sustainability of Maduro’s power depends largely on his agreement with the security forces, who generally control the Venezuelan street. Attempts by Guaydo and, presumably, external forces, to bribe the top of the siloviks (enforcers) and guarantee immunity to the generals, as we see, are not successful. I would venture to suggest that this is connected not only and not so much with deep patriotism and unswerving loyalty to the oath on the part of the security forces, but rather with the fact that they have every reason not to trust their counterparts. In the end, the protests in Venezuela are not going against a particular Maduro, but against the country’s “system”, which, of course, includes security officials of different levels.
The point in the confrontation is not set, will continue.
– The fact is that the pause in the operation to overthrow the Maduro regime was somewhat delayed, and the United States decided to spur on “patriots,” instead of taking active actions leading from Maduro, only a verbal skirmish, the professor of Moscow State University Andrei Manoylo said.
– In principle, to overthrow Maduro, Washington doesn’t need any Guaydo for nothing: they could land at Caracas at any time, arrest Maduro and take him to the United States or to the Guantanamo base – just as they once arrested and kidnapped General Noriega . If the United States would like to punish Maduro, everything would be decided in half a pint. But Washington’s plans, apparently, include not only punishing Maduro, but also making this spanking public and exemplary, so that Maduro, in an attempt to flee the country with another golden loaf under his arm, would be torn to pieces by the “insurgent people”. And then arrange a tribunal against all remaining regime supporters. Then, not only will the regime collapse, but the idea of Bolivarian socialism will be permanently discredited (in the event that Maduro is punished by the very disadvantaged segments of society that were previously the main support of the Chavista). That’s when, from the point of view of Trump and Bolton, it will look “beautiful”, “okay”. In this regard, the statement of Guaydo about the transition of “Operation Freedom” to the final stage and Bolton’s call on the Venezuelan army to oppose the legitimate authorities are dictated to hurry the expectant army elite to push them to action.
Obviously, Juan Guaydo made his statement on orders from Washington. That is why Bolton immediately supported him. It is possible that the summary of the statement by Guaydo was given by people from the US Embassy directly in front of the radio.
– Why did they have nothing happened yesterday? Why does the Maduro regime hold?
- Why did not work? Because it was just a call, not a signal for a general armed rebellion. The US, through the mouths of Guaydo and Bolton, hinted to the Venezuelan military that it was time to decide who they were with. That is why the bulk of the army did not start moving — they think.
- That is why the bulk of the army did not start moving — they think.
At the same time, some of the military still went to the streets and even participated in shootouts, which suggests that they apparently were still promoted to the front line. But not to arrest Maduro, just to scare.
– The United States initially made a bid to bribe the army. Strategy failed?
- It seems that part of the Army was bribed. Now they have a task – to force the generals to work out the money received.
– US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was planning to leave the country on Tuesday morning, but the Russian authorities managed to persuade him not to do that. Could this be?
- But maybe the opposite. I would not trust the words of Pompeo, as I very much doubt his competence.
– Will there be more attempts? Or will Maduro’s enemies change tactics?
- It was not an attempt, but only a rehearsal. A kind of test, signal, sign. The main events are still to come. The fact that the threat was real is indicated by the fact that Maduro, under the pretext of fighting the insurgency organizers, hastened to “clear out” (arrest) all the military from his entourage, whom he suspected of losing personal loyalty. US tactics will not change: as long as everything goes according to their scenario, only very slowly.