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24 Jan, 2019 01:19

‘Maduro won’t roll over’: US-backed coup in Venezuela could lead to civil war, experts warn

‘Maduro won’t roll over’: US-backed coup in Venezuela could lead to civil war, experts warn

The US-led recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as legitimate president could lead the country into bloody civil war, experts have warned, slamming foreign interference into Venezuela’s internal affairs.

A new chapter in the Venezuelan crisis was written on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump announced recognition of Juan Guaido as ‘interim’ president of Venezuela. A number of Latin American and Western nations quickly followed suit, further exacerbating the crisis in the Bolivarian Republic.

Calling the presidency of Nicolas Maduro a “disastrous dictatorship,” the US State Department urged the country' “military and security forces” to revolt against the democratically elected president. While the Venezuelan army refused to violate their allegiance, according to the defense minister, the society remains divided, standing over the abyss of a possible internal conflict.

Mr. Maduro will not just roll over and accept this. The question now is: who is going to be on his side and who is going to be on Mr. Guaido’s side and how ugly will things get...

“There is a great danger that this could lead to a civil war,” former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. “If the military splits, or the police, we could have very serious violence in this country.”

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“Millions of Venezuelans rose out of poverty during the Bolivarian revolution. They are not going to accept the imposition of the US- chosen new president,” Brian Becker from the anti-war ANSWER Coalition told RT, warning that if civil war erupts it will be a “bloodbath.”

Analysts have called Trump’s recognition of the leader of the National Assembly a blatant interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

“There has been a project which the US government started .... to restore US influence and to promote the most right-wing governments,” Becker explained, noting that Venezuela’s pro-Washington neighbors might be used to fuel the coup in Caracas.

Becker’s colleague Gloria La Riva stressed that Washington is very interested in laying its hands on Venezuela’s vast natural reserves.

“If the US is now recognizing a fake leader of Guaido, then US courts will try to expropriate the oil reserves of Citgo, the properties of Citgo, which is owned by Venezuela in the United States,” La Riva told RT.

While Maduro responded to Washington’s move by giving US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country – amid Guaido’s plea for them to stay – analysts fear that the US may raise the stakes to oust the elected leader from power.

“Maduro will try to protect what he sees as a legitimate constitutional authority. There will be a confrontation. There will be violence,” Jatras noted. “And I would not be at all surprised if covert assets will be used to try to raise the temperature of that violence so then Maduro can be accused of ‘killing innocent peaceful protesters.’ That would warrant even stronger steps taking against Venezuela.”

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