Skeptics may ask how Guaido will force Maduro to leave without guns or a foreign army. But Guaido’s method of appealing to the conscience of the military and organizing the population has worked before — in Serbia in 2000 and in Egypt in 2010. In both countries, the military stood down in the face of popular defiance.
So far Guaido has had modest success with the military. There has been a steady trickle of defections, according to the opposition and news reports. Over the weekend, a journalist tweeted a photo of a boarding pass to China through Russia for the children of one of Maduro’s top allies, Diosdado Cabello.
The crucial fact to remember here is that time is not on Maduro’s side. As their access to international capital and bank accounts is constricted, Maduro and his henchmen will find it harder to stay in power. Eventually his most important international backers, Russia and China, will want their debts repaid. Maduro has no chance of doing that with international sanctions on the oil industry.