The Venezuelan opposition had underestimated its support in the military, Juan Guaido has admitted after the failed coup attempt, adding that he’d welcome US-backed military intervention if Washington decides to pursue that path.
Guaido and his supporters suffered an embarrassing defeat on Tuesday after the US-backed politician called on the military and the opposition to rise up and oust President Nicolas Maduro from power. Despite the defection of a few dozen servicemen, the armed forces stayed loyal to the elected president and refused to capitulate to Guaido’s calls. Following clashes in and around the capital, Maduro announced “defeat” of the coup plotters, forcing the opposition to retreat.
“I think the variables [of the failed coup attempt] are obvious at this point,” the 35-year-old politician told The Washington Post on Saturday. The opposition failed “maybe because we still need more soldiers, and maybe we need more officials of the regime to be willing to support it,” he said.The so-called ‘self-proclaimed president’ admitted that he had miscalculated the degree of loyalty the soldiers have for Maduro.
The soft-ball article also has Guaido discussing possibly a negative effect that his mentor Leopoldo Lopez had when he joined the protesters. He insisted that he was not arrested when calling for a coup in Caracas, because Maduro is “scared.”
Both Russia and Cuba denied any involvement in Venezuelan affairs, while Caracas continues to pin the blame for the dire socio-economic conditions on American policies.Despite an apparent defeat of Venezuela’s opposition, the US Secretary of State on Saturday once again called on Maduro to cede power, blaming Russia and Cuban support for the alleged “suffering” of Venezuelans, who, despite all the pressure, continue to remain loyal to Bolivarian ideals.As far as the future options for the opposition, Guaido said he would welcome US military support as long as they stand alongside Venezuelan forces, who are just refusing to turn coats.
If Washington does extend its military hand to dissidents, Guaido promised to take that option to the opposition-run National Assembly for approval.
The economy of the South American nation has been in steady decline since the sharp drop in oil prices in 2014.
At the same time, Caracas has been under constant pressure from US sanctions, aimed at President Maduro and his government.
The decline of the economy led to the devaluation of the national currency and to shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods. The worsening socio-economic conditions triggered a substantial outflow of Venezuelans to neighboring countries, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.