Venezuela National Guard and Low-Income Base Demonstrating Against Maduro

Forbes and other news sources are reporting that Venezuela’s National Guard and Maduro’s low-income base are involved in demonstrations against the current regime.

The Miami Herald indicates there will be a large anti-government march. Jan. 23 marks the 61st anniversary of the military uprising that toppled dictator Gen. Marcos Pérez Jiménez. They hope that Wednesday’s protests could be a turning point to topple the current dictator Maduro.

This is not a technology related article. It is future related. Nextbigfuture predicted in March, 2018 that there would be a military coup in Venezuela. The prediction was by the end of 2018 and assumed that Venezuelan oil production would fall to below one million barrels per day. I over-estimated the speed of the decline in Venezuela and the exact timing of a successful coup. We will see if this succeeds in removing Maduro. Successful removal of Maduro and the ruling party would alter the geopolitics and economics of the South American region.

France24 reported on Monday that a few dozen national guardsmen had taken captive a loyalist officer and seized a stockpile of assault rifles in a pre-dawn raid. The government quickly quelled the uprising, but residents in a nearby slum took to the streets to show their support for the mutineers by burning cars and throwing stones at security forces, who fired back with tear gas.

Retired Maj. Gen. Cliver Alcala, a one-time aide to Chavez and now in exile, said the opposition’s newfound momentum has been getting support in Venezuela’s military’s lower ranks. Lower ranking soldiers are suffering the same hardships as regular Venezuelan families.

Alejandro Arreaza, a Latin America economist at Barclays Capital in New York, says this time it is different. In the past, there have been periods of high internal pressure for PSUV’s ouster but low external pressure. Venezuela was basically a nonstory in the foreign political press.

Washington started pressuring the Maduro government in late 2017 and into 2018, but by then protests had died down and millions of Venezuelans had left the country. This time we have both—external pressure and internal pressure against PSUV.

Juan Guaido is the Venezuelan president of the National Assembly. The Organization of American States recognizes him as Venezuela’s leader, not Maduro.