The ouster of Bolivian President Evo Morales was only possible with the support of the country’s military, and Venezuela’s opposition is unlikely to effect its own putsch plot while the army has Caracas’s back, an analyst told RT.
After another lackluster attempt to launch mass demonstrations to depose Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, opposition figurehead Juan Guaido may be wondering how his counterparts in Bolivia obtained their coup with such speed. But Lucas Koerner, independent political analyst and editor of Venezuelanalysis.com, says it’s all about the guns.
“The key factor are the armed forces,” Koerner told RT’s Rick Sanchez. “In Venezuela, the military has stayed on the side of the constitutionally elected president, where in Bolivia they opted to overthrow the likewise democratically elected President Evo Morales, who had just won an election with 47 percent of the vote.”
On April 30, we recall that [Guaido] did attempt a military putsch to oust Maduro, but only a very small section of the armed forces, maybe a few dozen soldiers, participated.
Guaido’s failure to win the support of the security services is not exactly surprising. A survey conducted last year by Caracas-based polling firm Delphos found that a whopping 97 percent of Venezuelans had never even heard of the US-backed opposition leader, let alone supported him to lead a military junta to depose the elected president. Even within the Venezuelan opposition, Guaido’s faction has made enemies in other ways as well.
“This goes back to last year, when the opposition had a presidential candidate, Henri Falcon, who was the highest polling opposition figure at that time, and had the opposition united behind him they could have defeated Maduro,” Koerner said.
But instead, Guaido’s faction – this kind of hardline, extremist faction [whose] main constituency is in Miami and Washington – they opted to boycott, because they didn’t want to play politics.
In choosing to allow Maduro to run uncontested, Koerner suggested the opposition threw away its one chance to remove the socialist leader from office by democratic means.
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Guaido declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January and received instant endorsement from Washington and its Latin American allies in the Organization for American States (OAS). But unlike Bolivia’s opposition movement, which unseated President Morales after just a few weeks of protest with support from the military, similar efforts against Maduro have so far been unsuccessful.
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