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Why Venezuela’s Regime Hasn’t Collapsed

Guaidó and What Army?

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro at a military base in Caracas, May 2019 Miraflores Palace / REUTERS

At dawn on April 30, Venezuelan opposition leaders Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López appeared at a military base in Caracas and called on citizens and the military to begin the “final phase” of ousting President Nicolás Maduro. Opposition leaders had called on citizens to rise against the government before, but their decision to appeal directly to the military was seen as a game-changer. By sunset that same day, however, López and his family had sought refuge in the Spanish embassy and Guaidó had gone silent for several hours. It was all but certain that the attempted uprising had failed. 

What happened? Some have suggested that Guaidó, who has mounted a direct challenge to Maduro’s presidency since January, did not manage to project enough of a sense of confidence and inevitability for the uprising to gather momentum. Others have claimed that, forced by rumors that the government was

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