Actual coup attempt in Venezuela, or another wild conspiracy?

posted at 1:21 pm on March 26, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

And I mean that like an actual coup attempt, and not one of those made-up overthrow plots coming from unidentified foreign imperialist aggressors and subversive businessmen about which President Nicolas Maduro and Hugo Chavez before have always raved in times of political turmoil. …Or it could just be that again, too. It’s always easier to explain away your problems to the public when phantom conspirators are attacking you.

Venezuela’s President says his country has arrested three air force generals accused of plotting a coup.

“Last night we captured three generals, who we had been investigating…three generals who were trying to turn the air force against the legitimately constituted government,” President Nicolas Maduro said in remarks broadcast Tuesday on state-run VTV. “They were organizing a coup. This captured group has direct ties with sectors of the opposition, and they said that this week was the decisive week.”

The generals, whom he did not name, will be charged in military court, he said.

Maduro revealed the arrests as he spoke to a commission of South American foreign ministers who are visiting his country as part of efforts to facilitate dialogue as political tensions mount.

It’s tough to discern exactly what’s going on within the ranks of the Venezuelan regime, but I would bet that now probably feels like an opportune moment to upset the order of things; there must be a lot of doubt about Maduro’s leadership capability to keep the Bolivarian revolution running strong, what with all of the desperate flailing he’s been doing with the deteriorating crime and inflation rates plaguing the country and the ongoing protests that have already resulted in at least 36 deaths. Chavez himself was briefly ousted in a coup back in 2002 when the military’s top officers turned against him after days of anti-government protests, and the military is the long-established key to power that any potential coup initiator would need to undermine:

The military is a vital institution of support for Mr. Maduro’s government and formed the backbone of the socialist movement started some 15 years ago by Mr. Chávez, who was a former tank commander.

“If Maduro begins to see members of the military that are starting to budge, starting to question the approach by the political folks in the government then you know they would be in trouble,” said Carl Meacham, director of the Americas program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.


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He who has military control owns the country. It’s true of any dictatorship. It’s true of Crimea. So, yeah, Maduro can’t ignore senior military leaders that are disloyal.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 1:31 PM

#Venezuela the economic crisis is forcing more students to take the streets against gov #SOSVenezuela #humanRights pic.twitter.com/Ma2QQIexx6— NelsonDordelly-R,PhD (@nelsondordelly) March 25, 2014

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM

OT, the Euroweenes are clapping themselves to death, bowing to this, obama.

Schadenfreude on March 26, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Venezuela the economic crisis is forcing more students to take the streets against gov #SOSVenezuela #humanRights pic.twitter.com/Ma2QQIexx6
— NelsonDordelly-R,PhD (@nelsondordelly) March 25, 2014

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Pray for Venezuela @vzlapray
Want to know what’s going on in Venezuela?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFS6cP9auDc

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Alex, I’d like to choose “another wild conspiracy” for $1,000.00

oldleprechaun on March 26, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Poll Numbers Suggest Venezuelan Government Is In Big Trouble
A lot of people argue that these protests are too early. That the barrios are not participating. That the people still support the Government widely and many other such arguments. While there is evidence to counteract each of these claims, I think they try to oversimplify the problem. In the end, the “barrios” are not where the opposition is weak, it is in the very rural states, where the people have a very high dependence on the Government. These are the true Chavista strongholds, where the media is fully dominated by the Government and the opposition gets less than 40% of the vote in any given election. In the barrios of the big cities, the 2013 Presidential elections tended to be closer, with the opposition scoring wins in many.
http://devilsexcrement.com/2014/03/17/poll-numbers-suggest-venezuelan-government-is-in-big-trouble/

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I wonder why Maduro didn’t purge all the generals that were not personally loyal to him like Obama did.

VorDaj on March 26, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I’d welcome a coup in Venezuela. Turkey too.

rbj on March 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

OT – the rapture is on – obama speaks in Europe and they are all crying with joy, no kidding.

Schadenfreude on March 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Venezuela is a great example of why guns in the hands of the government are a greater danger that guns in the hands of citizens who may resist said government.

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 1:55 PM

…where is Sean Penn?

KOOLAID2 on March 26, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Maduro is a goner. He’s an even bigger idiot than Obama. Well, maybe that’s a stretch. He’s an ignorant bus driver who got put in his place because Chavez didn’t want a second in command who was a threat to him.

Prediction: Venezuela will be a Military Junta before summer.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I wonder why Maduro didn’t purge all the generals that were not personally loyal to him like Obama did.

VorDaj on March 26, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Maybe they knew where the toilet paper was hidden.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Generally, when dictators of any stripe feel power slipping away from them, they react by purging the upper ranks of their military. The usual result is that the secret police become even more powerful, and then the fun really begins, in the sense of a 17th Century New England witch hunt.

The punch line is that successful coup d’etats rarely begin with flag-rankers, or even involve them. For the most part, they are considered part of the ruling junta by the coup plotters, and tend to get ‘dobe-walled right alongside o líder máximo.

Air forces are particularly prone to junior officers being the core of coups. To cite only two examples, Jerry Rawlings (Ghana) and Moammar al-Qadafi (Libya) were both lieutenants when they pulled their revolts.

Oh, and Idi Amin (Uganda) was a sergeant-major.

Maduro’s paranoia may have the useful effect of nuking his own chain of command. But as to stopping any real coup attempts, he’s probably barking up the wrong tree.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Fitch Downgrades Venezuela to ‘B’; Outlook Negative
(The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, March 25 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has downgraded Venezuela’s ratings as follows: –Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘B’ from ‘B+’; Outlook Negative; –Senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds to ‘B’ from ‘B+’; –Country Ceiling to ‘B’ from ‘B+’; Fitch has affirmed the short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘B’.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/fitch-downgrades-venezuela-to-b-outlook-idUSFit69472120140325

DinaRehn on March 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Maduro is little more than a front man for the Cubans making the real calls in Venezuela. Some in the military resent this so the Cubans who are keeping an eye on things may be picking ones they are unsure of and making an example just to frighten the rest. Saddam used to do that to. It made everyone too nervouse to talk to anyone about anything.

If the Cuban face gets too public, the people will resent them even more so they need a pliable stooge like Maduro for public presentation.

KW64 on March 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Maybe they knew where the toilet paper was hidden.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Probably in Maduro’s basement. When he is strung up or flees ahead of the mob I bet there will be a toilet paper collection found to rival Imelda Marcos’s shoe closet.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Maduro is a goner. He’s an even bigger idiot than Obama. Well, maybe that’s a stretch. He’s an ignorant bus driver who got put in his place because Chavez didn’t want a second in command who was a threat to him.

Prediction: Venezuela will be a Military Junta before summer.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I’m pretty sure that being a bigger idiot than Obama is not really possible.

whbates on March 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Another show

latina on March 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM