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Marco Olivera

The crises accumulate for Venezuela. The United States is going for the fall of Maduro – A geopolitical analysis.

- When the whole world is directing its maximum efforts to face the current pandemic, the administration of President Donald Trump decided to name Nicolás Maduro as the leader of the Cartel de los Soles

The crises accumulate for Venezuela. The United States is going for the fall of Maduro – A geopolitical analysis.

The US government seeks to take advantage of the pandemic and the global economic recession to force the departure of Nicolás Maduro by making three important moves in a span of a week. The Venezuelan president's options are running out. For the first time there are conditions for the fall of the Bolivarian regime.

When the entire world is directing its maximum efforts to face the current pandemic, the administration of President Donald Trump decided, in a period of just seven days -from March 26 to April 1, 2020- to designate Nicolás Maduro as the leader of the Cartel de los Soles and offer a reward for the arrest of the Venezuelan president, present a political transition plan for Venezuela and launch a major anti-drug operation in the hemisphere.

Although the main focus of attention and concern of the United States is on SARS-COV2, the government does not separate its foreign policy interests in terms of its geopolitical, geostrategic and political interests.

Are these three major moves by the United States isolated? Of course not. What is the reason for doing them under the current circumstances? The desire of the North American country for regime change in Venezuela since the Bolivarian Revolution of 1999 is well known and, after multiple actions carried out to force it, for the first time, a series of conditions are present to finally see it consummated.

Nicolás Maduro together with the government and military leadership have worked in cahoots watching each other's backs, they have survived together and have managed to evade US justice, they are determined to remain in power, but they are being isolated and pressured, their options depleted.

2019 was a very turbulent year for the Latin American country. Various crises were the hallmark feature of the past year: humanitarian, political, economic and financial. Behind them are the United States and the incompetent and corrupt Maduro administration.

Beyond the clear US design, what are the true intentions of the United States behind its desire for regime change in Venezuela?

Answering the previous question is the main objective of this work, which is why it was divided into four parts. The first will address the last three moves made by the United States against the government of Nicolás Maduro and analyze whether they have any real justification for carrying them out in times of health crisis and global economic recession; then, two types of essential activities carried out by the United States to put pressure on Venezuela will be presented; then, based on their activities or actions carried out, the true intentions behind the coup attempts and interventionism in Venezuela will be revealed; in this work it is considered that the fall of Nicolás Maduro is imminent, for this reason in the fourth part four possible scenarios of his departure are considered; and, finally, the conclusions will be presented, the international significance of the fall of Maduro and the sources of information that enriched and made this work possible.

Exhibition order:

the triad

1.1 The charges 1.2 The desired regime change 1.3 Organized crime in the face of the pandemic Activities 2.1 Economic Sanctions 2.2 Narrative control


3.1 Limit the influence of Russia and China on the continent 3.2 Venezuelan natural resources 3.3 Defend your liberal-democratic political and economic project on the continent 3.4 Consolidate voters in re-election year

Possibles scenarios

a.Maduro accepts the »Framework for the Democratic Transition of Venezuela, but negotiates with the United States a safe exit for him and his closest circle of collaborators b. Coup c. Civil war d. Maduro takes refuge in Russia

Conclusions International significance Information sources

1. The triad

On Tuesday, March 26, the first virtual press conference from the United States Department of Justice was held. Attorney General William Barr has filed a series of criminal charges against Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and 14 other current and former Venezuelan officials on narcoterrorism, corruption, drug trafficking and other charges. This after investigations carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (HSI).

Maduro has been identified as the leader of the Cartel de los Soles, accusing him of sending 250 tons of cocaine a year to the United States and of financing and collaborating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Likewise, the reward offered for information leading to the capture of Maduro, 15 million dollars, was announced. Also, another 10 million have been offered by Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Constituent Assembly, number two in command of the Venezuelan regime. For the second time in history, the US government has offered a bounty for a head of state. In 1989 Manuel Noriega was threatened and deposed after the United States invasion of Panama.

Five days after the charges against Maduro were filed, Mike Pompeo announced the "Framework for Venezuela's Democratic Transition." It is a democratic transition plan, the withdrawal of sanctions against Venezuela is contemplated if Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó allow the passage of a transition government headed by a State Council to organize new presidential and legislative elections within 6 to 12 months. Neither the head of state of the Bolivarian Republic nor the self-proclaimed president in charge of Venezuela would participate in said elections.

The Council of State would be made up of five leaders, government and opposition, elected by both parties in the National Assembly. The four selected will elect the fifth member to preside over it and will serve as interim president of the country. The latter will not be able to participate in the presidential elections that will derive after the transition period.

Also, humanitarian, electoral, development, security and economic assistance from the international community is stipulated. However, based on point ten of the plan, the possibility of bringing Maduro to justice is left open if crimes against humanity are proven.1

**Just 24 hours later, Donald Trump announced the launch of anti-drug operations in the hemisphere: **

As governments and nations focus on the coronavirus, there is a growing threat that cartels, criminals, terrorists, and other evil actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain. And we must not let that happen. We will never let that happen. Today, the United States is launching counternarcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics.

We must not allow drug cartels to exploit the pandemic to threaten the lives of Americans. In cooperation with 22 partner nations, US Southern Command will increase surveillance, disruption, and seizure of drug shipments and provide additional support for eradication efforts currently underway through a record pace. We are deploying additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, jets and helicopters, Coast Guard cutters, and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling our capabilities in the region.2

When the whole world is facing this health crisis, why do you decide to make these three big moves?

1.1 Charges

The Attorney General of the United States has been questioned about the reason that led them to announce the charges filed against Maduro under the current circumstances and he has answered that the charges are the product of various investigations that began several years ago and were ready to present them before the coronavirus outbreak, but they were delayed for purely bureaucratic reasons.

The Department of Justice operates independently thanks to the effective separation of powers existing in the United States, therefore it is ruled out that the accusation is an order issued by the chief executive, however, the moment in which these accusations are made is disconcerting. and when this operation is launched.

The US Department of Justice considers that two routes are used to manage to send 250 tons of cocaine per year to the United States:

1.- One of the main remaining cocaine-producing areas in Colombia is Norte de Santander, whose border it shares with Venezuela. The FARC transports the cocaine to the Bolivarian Republic and, later, the Maduro government safeguards it to take it from an area called Zulia, near Lake Maracaibo, to Central America. Since 2016, this airlift was established and it has grown five times its size in these four years. (red arrows on the map)

2.- The Venezuelan government allows drug traffickers to take the cocaine brought from Zulia to transport it by sea route to the Caribbean.

The complaints against the Venezuelan president and his administration confirm, for some, the rumors about his participation in criminal activities; for others, this corroborates research whose content already revealed it. One of them is the one published by Insight Crime in 2018.3 In it, he reports on the participation of relatives of the Venezuelan president and important figures from the highest civil and military government spheres in the Cartel de los Soles, for example, on September 10 In 2013, an Air France plane took off from the Maiquetía airport in Caracas and landed in Paris with 1.3 tons of cocaine. Said Venezuelan airport is controlled by the National Guard and, in response to this incident, 28 people were arrested, including a lieutenant colonel and other members of said security force.

In another case, two nephews of Cilia Flores, wife of the Venezuelan president, were captured by the DEA in an operation carried out in November 2015 in Haiti when they were transporting drugs on a plane. A year later a New York court found them guilty.

After four years without publishing economic indicators, the Central Bank of Venezuela uploaded information in this regard to its website in 2019, revealing a 52.3% drop in GDP since 2013. Regarding the balance of payments, this reflects the scarcity of goods imported, since they went from 53.183 billion dollars to 14.86 billion dollars.

Also, the fall of several sectors is appreciated: construction at 95% between the third quarter of 2013 and the same of 2018; manufacturing 76%; commerce 79%; and the financial sector 79%. In addition, an inflation of 1.7 million percent is estimated. Regarding one of its main sources of income, the value of oil exports fell from 85.6 billion dollars in 2013 to 29.8 billion in 2018.4

In December 2019, its production in barrels of oil was 907,000 per day, this is a drop of 55.4% compared to the 2.03 million it produced in 2017. This is serious for a country that is highly dependent on income from oil exports. , in Venezuela these represent almost the total of all export earnings.5

It is necessary to mention that the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela explain a large part of the economic, financial and humanitarian crisis in the country, as demonstrated by a work carried out by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (2020).

How can a country sustain itself economically by presenting all these indicators? In addition to the economic and financial assistance provided by its allies -a topic exposed in the following lines-, the income generated by illegal activities manages to keep it afloat:

‘’With the country on the verge of bankruptcy, kleptocracy and the systematic looting of the public treasury have been reduced. There is simply no more money to steal from the government budget. But the wheels of corruption must be kept oiled, especially within the army, which is the mainstay that sustains the Maduro government […] Insight Crime believes that drug trafficking is one of the lubricants of corruption in Venezuela today, and that it is troubled Andean country is becoming one of the main centers of cocaine trafficking in the world''.6

The state of the Venezuelan economy is deplorable and its health system is almost collapsed. The health crisis has slowed production activities around the world, causing a historic drop in the price of a barrel of oil. Under these conditions, will Venezuela be able to survive the pandemic and the global economic recession?

1.2 The desired regime change

The United States wants a change of government in Venezuela since Hugo Chávez opposed alignment with the West. His left-wing economic policies and anti-imperial rhetoric characterized the late leader, which is why the North American country's relations with Venezuela deteriorated under his government (1999-2013).

The United States financed opposition political groups in the coup perpetrated on April 11, 2002 against Chávez7, who was able to retake power two days later thanks to a loyal group of the armed forces and the support of thousands of Venezuelans gathered around the Palace of Miraflores demanding the return of its president.

When Hugo Chávez died and Nicolás Maduro came to power, the relationship between those two countries did not improve. The Barack Obama administration imposed sanctions against Venezuela, Donald Trump has exerted "maximum pressure" on Maduro with the aim of having the latter leave office or call fair, transparent and credible legislative and presidential elections. While that is happening, he has financed and supported then-opposition deputy Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself "president in charge" of Venezuela on January 23, 2019; since then, he has been recognized as "interim president" by more than fifty countries.

1.3 Organized crime in the face of the pandemic

Are there really efforts to try to "flood" the United States with drugs? As already cited above, Trump and his intelligence services believe it, and one can assume it when the world's attention is focused on the pandemic. However, there are multiple problems that criminal organizations face when trying to bring drugs to the largest consumer of it. The increase in border controls and the economic contraction have limited the flow of trade and the movement of people between the United States and abroad, managing to impact the drug market: importation of chemical precursors for its manufacture, problems moving it due to the mandatory confinement of people, the ease with which operations are carried out at airports and customs due to the small number of people and merchandise. This is revealed by different investigations carried out by media such as CNN, Evening Standard, Sky News and The Conversation, which also report an increase in the prices of drugs such as cocaine and marijuana in the United Kingdom due to the difficulty in smuggling them and the scarcity of these.8 Also, El País and El Periódico report the same in Spain. 9

Meanwhile, members of the Sinaloa Cartel revealed to the Vice site the increase in a pound of methamphetamine from between 1,500 and 2,500 pesos to 6,000 and 7,000 pesos.10 And recently, the Associated Press (AP) reported the ravages of the pandemic on drug trafficking. Reporters from this news agency conducted multiple interviews with police officers and drug trafficking experts, they commented that the Mexican and Colombian cartels continue to maintain their activities, as it has been evident from recent drug seizures, however, since production the transfer of all drugs has been affected. Reserves are short, there is no demand, so prices have risen.11

Since the beginning of the operations launched in the hemisphere, the United States Southern Command has claimed two victories after the seizure of 2.1 tons of cocaine, valued at 40 million dollars, and another unspecified in the Pacific Ocean, near Costa Rican coasts.12

2.- Activities

The means and methods adopted by the United States and other countries to overthrow Nicolás Maduro and replace him with a puppet government have been unilateral and multilateral. If the actions carried out by the North American country are analyzed, they could be classified into two types: economic sanctions and control of the narrative.

2.1 Economic Sanctions

The United States has used economic sanctions against Venezuela since the administration of President George W. Bush, they were part of the strategy to force the departure of Hugo Chávez and, currently, Nicolás Maduro.

According to Joseph Nye, economic sanctions are part of what is known in International Relations as hard power. Regarding this type of sanctions, the American political scientist points out that:

‘‘They are intended to coerce and are therefore a form of hard power. Economic strength can become hard or soft power: it can bind countries with sanctions or woo them with wealth. As Walter Russell Mead has argued, economic power is rigid power; seduces as much as compels’’.13

Now, María Cristina Rosas14 classifies economic sanctions into two types and each one has subdivisions. With the exception of the blockade, all the others have been exercised by the United States against Venezuela -currently there are various US military ships in the Caribbean Sea, whose presence is justified by the anti-drug operation launched by Trump, but so far it is not a blockade naval- .

Some of the multiple sanctions carried out against Venezuela will be exposed.

Commercial sanctions: On August 5, 2019, Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits economic transactions with the Maduro government, proposes the imposition of sanctions on foreign individuals and companies that do so, but some entities were exempt from such provision. Also, the exemptions include official business of the Federal Government and transactions related to the provision of humanitarian aid.15

Boycotts: Venezuelan oil exports have been attacked through the blockade of all the properties and assets of the parastatal company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) that are under US jurisdiction, also, the United States deprived the transactions maintained with the company to its citizens. However, there were some exceptions. The main one is with respect to PDVH and CITGO, two US-based subsidiaries of PDVSA. The Treasury Department issued what are known as “licenses” to allow transactions with these two entities.16

Other measures: According to an interview conducted by the BBC with Nicolás Maduro in 2019, the Venezuelan president denounced a "theft" of gold from Venezuela by the Bank of England. Said institution would have refused to deliver some 14 tons of gold that the Bolivarian government was seeking to repatriate and whose value was 538 million dollars.17

Financial sanctions: Venezuela has been expelled from international financial markets, preventing it from renewing maturities and placing debt in the credit market.18 Likewise, the US government has already sanctioned members of the Venezuelan government elite and relatives of President Maduro.19

2.2 Narrative Control

"The humanitarian crisis," defined unilaterally, and the "defense of freedom and democracy" are the messages with which the US government bombards so much to justify its interventionism in Venezuela; It also uses the fight against terrorism, the war against drug trafficking and human rights violations to justify its actions abroad. It is worth remembering that, from the second half of the 20th century, his open message was the fight against communism. Today it is different, their actions are covered up in this new type of narrative.

From constructivism one can analyze this American effort to manipulate the message, to create a narrative; then it is taken to the multilateral forums controlled by the United States and it is here that it receives the support of its allies; later, they direct the message to the media to disseminate it massively and generate in individuals the idea that what is being done and seeks to do is the right thing, since people are suffering in Venezuela because of a "dictator." On this Guzzini (2000) cited in Creus (2013) points out that:

''establishing meanings or socially accepted narratives constitutes a clear exercise of power, insofar as it conditions the way in which agents think and act, in other words, it shapes their preferences''.

Creus (2013) goes on to say:

‘’For the author, this link can be seen clearly when certain labels are applied, for example when the IMF classifies a country as insolvent, that country is stripped of power in its social relations. Other financial players will change their behavior accordingly. Many others can be added to this example, a very similar one, continuing in the field of international finance, is undoubtedly the role played by risk rating agencies. In these cases, again, as when referring to the construction of socially accepted narratives, it is necessary to remember that not all actors have the same effectiveness when placing labels or establishing meanings.

Have the IMF and risk rating agencies rated or marked Venezuela as insolvent? no need to answer the question.

3.- Intentions

The United States continues to enhance its geopolitical advantages and maximize its ability to achieve its objectives. Regardless of having a Democratic or Republican government, geopolitical and geostrategic interests remain intact. It maintains, and wants to continue to do so, a preponderant role with respect to the other States of the American continent. His project of political and economic cohesion in America has been fruitful, when three decades ago the leftist regimes in Latin America began to spread, today most have fallen: Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Uruguay.

The motivations of the United States to change the Venezuelan regime are the following. They are not listed in any particular order of importance.

3.1 Limit the influence of Russia and China on the Continent.

In the US national security strategy of 2017, the interests of Russia and China in Latin America are warned in this way:

‘’China seeks to bring the region into its orbit of influence through state-led investment and lending. Russia continues its failed Cold War policy by strengthening its radical Cuban allies while Cuba continues to repress its citizens. Both China and Russia support the dictatorship in Venezuela and seek to expand military ties and arms sales throughout the region.’’20


An analysis carried out by the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG)21 reveals the scope of the Russian presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. The establishment of diplomatic relations with countries in the region has increased since the beginning of the century; it has managed to enter the Latin American arms market, Venezuela being its main buyer of military technology and there is significant technical-military cooperation between these two countries; total trade between the Eurasian power and this region has intensified by increasing total trade from 306 million dollars in 1992 to 10.21 billion dollars; In energy matters, companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft have a strong investment in Bolivia and Venezuela.


China is already the second largest trade partner of Latin America22 and is the main source of financing, either through direct foreign investment or through the provision of credits by Chinese banks, for development projects such as construction, infrastructure, energy and transportation. .

Likewise, Chinese direct investment has been directed to other expanding sectors such as financial services, commerce, manufacturing, and mining.23

For the United States, the influence of Russia and China in the hemisphere is worrisome, since Latin American countries have sought extra-regional actors to establish cooperation alliances aimed at allowing them to emerge from underdevelopment, especially those seeking to strengthen relations with China; The United States raises economic and financial support, but is bogged down in pure rhetoric. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the capitalist system is criticized and they show their deep rejection of predatory capitalism expressed in neoliberalism, but if the activities of Russia and China are analyzed, it is appreciated that they do not practice a "humanist" capitalism either.

However, the Eurasian country and the "Kingdom of the Center" are the main allies of the government of Nicolás Maduro and have expressed their rejection of any external interference in their internal affairs. Also, they are the main creditors of Venezuela. Between them they have lent almost 80 billion dollars since 2006 and the Latin American country still owes just over a third of it. China imports Venezuelan oil and has significant investments in the mining industry, from which it obtains coltan and gold. Russia has investments in various industries and also provides it with wheat.24

However, both countries have been in contact with the opposition for years, as they want to ensure payment of the debt in the event of a change of government.25 Despite this, a few days ago China and Venezuela signed a cooperation agreement to deal with the coronavirus. On the other hand, Russia disqualified the "Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela" proposed by the United States and condemned the accusation against Nicolás Maduro for drug trafficking.26

If Maduro leaves, they lose much of the influence they have wanted to obtain in Latin America, the natural region of the hegemonic influence of the United States. Although not a declared ally, Turkey has important relations with Venezuela. The first refines gold for the second in exchange for large tons of food; in the first nine months of 2018, Turkey exported US$61 million worth of food to Turkey.27

3.2 Venezuelan natural resources

The material interest in the abundance of certain Venezuelan natural resources is evident. This is demonstrated by a statement made by the then National Security Advisor of the United States, John Bolton, when he appeared on January 18, 2018 in an interview on Fox Business and revealed that the United States government was in talks with corporations. of your country to discuss the capitalization of Venezuelan oil reserves:

"We're talking to major US companies now...I think we're trying to get to the same bottom line here...It will make a huge economic difference to the United States if we can get US companies to actually invest in and produce the oil capacities in Venezuela." 28

Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world and ranks ninth in terms of countries with the largest gas reserves. The governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro blocked the way to investment by foreign companies in these and other sectors, for which reason they have engaged in legal battles with them.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Hugo Chávez took advantage of high oil prices to collect profits and redistribute them through financing social programs and investment in health, education and infrastructure, with which he obtained broad support from the citizenry.

Also, it has other important minerals such as bauxite, coltan, diamonds, iron, gold and thorium. Its coltan reserves are valued at more than 100 billion dollars. “Blue gold” is used to make key components of electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.29

3.3 Defend their liberal-democratic political and economic project on the continent.

The reason behind the attempt to change the Venezuelan regime lies in the US foreign policy towards Latin America formulated in the Cold War. When the Second World War ended, there was a growth of social-democratic governments in Latin America. In his efforts to deal with the "socialist threat," he armed and financed right-wing militias to carry out coups in an effort to overthrow left-wing governments and install puppet regimes. The deposed rulers implemented policies that gave greater control of natural resources to the State, achieving expropriations and nationalizations, affecting the interests of various US companies from the energy to food sectors.

The Eisenhower administration overthrew Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz in June 1954; the Kennedy administration orchestrated the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 to bring down the government of Fidel Castro; after the 1963 military invasion of the Dominican Republic was the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, Juan Bosch had taken office as president only 7 months before; the assault on the Palacio de la Moneda in Chile in 1973 culminating in the assassination of Salvador Allende and the seizure of power by General Augusto Pinochet was planned by the government of Richard Nixon; Starting in the mid-1970s, the United States promoted the so-called Operation Condor, through which they gave their support to the dictatorial regimes of Latin America that would be in charge of undertaking the persecution and elimination of dissidents; the contras in Nicaragua were armed and financed by the Ronald Reagan government; in 1989 the George Bush administration ordered the invasion of Panama.

Despite having ended the Cold War, the United States intends to continue uniting Latin America around its liberal-democratic political and economic project. This is demonstrated in their attempts to change the Venezuelan regime. As previously mentioned, the George W. Bush administration was implicated in the coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002.

Meanwhile, Nicolás Maduro has denounced the existence of a conspiracy to assassinate him on 18 occasions. Such plots have occurred since 2013, when he was still a candidate for the presidency.30

3.4 Consolidate voters in re-election year

Faced with a mismanagement of the internal health crisis due to the coronavirus and the global economic recession, President Trump needs to fight a battle and win it in order to obtain political capital and, thus, secure his re-election in November of this year. The US president needs to display a resounding victory, but his foreign policy has been a failure: threats to Iran to force it to negotiate have failed and he put that region of Asia in tension after orchestrating the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani; he presented a controversial Middle East peace plan earlier this year, but it was flatly rejected by the Palestinians; The United States is in a trade war with China; Trump managed to meet with Kim Jong-un, president of North Korea, on three occasions, he even became the first president of the United States to set foot on North Korean territory, but in the ultimate goal of the meetings to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, he failed; the "Agreement to bring peace to Afghanistan" was reached, the purpose of which is to end the war with that country, but even members of the Republican Party are skeptical of it; His most suitable rival is Venezuela, since he is geographically closer and has allies in Latin America supporting his attempts to bring about the fall of Maduro.

Donald Trump seeks to ensure the vote of the Venezuelan and Cuban diaspora. 421 thousand people of Venezuelan origin live in the United States, Florida being the country that concentrates 52% of them. On the other hand, there are 2.3 million Cubans in the United States, 66% live in Florida.31 The majority of these two diasporas live in a hinge state or swing state, that is, Florida is an important state in elections due to the number of voters it contributes to the Electoral College. It is worth mentioning that the North American country does not hold a direct election to elect the president, but is carried out through the Electoral College. Each state, according to its population, contributes an already pre-established number of voters. Florida does it with 29, only behind California and Texas, another state that also contributes 29 is New York.

4.- Possible scenarios

The economic crisis aggravated by the pandemic, the increase in tension within the ruling leadership and pressure from the United States are the cornerstone under which the following possible scenarios for the fall of Nicolás Maduro were built. They are not listed in any particular order of probability.

to. Maduro accepts the "Framework for the Democratic Transition of Venezuela", but negotiates with the United States a safe exit for him and for the closest circle of his collaborators. Of the possible scenarios, this is the most convenient for both parties, since both will be involved in the political transition process, they could even adjust the terms of the agreement and, most importantly, Venezuelans will be able to decide part of their future at the polls. . Russia and China, having negotiated the terms of the Venezuelan debt with the opposition and defended their investments in the country, will give the go-ahead.

b. Coup. There have been several calls made by the opposition and by the United States to encourage the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) - the highest institution in charge of the military defense of Venezuela made up of the Bolivarian Army, the Bolivarian Navy, the Bolivarian Military Aviation, the Bolivarian National Guard and the Bolivarian Militia - to break loyalty to Maduro and depose the president.

In addition, if the economic crisis worsens further and the United States anti-drug operation manages to reduce the profits generated by drug trafficking destined to maintain the loyalty of the armed forces -as already mentioned in the investigation carried out by Insight Crime-, the military can carry out a coup.

Given the history of military dictatorships in Latin America and the almost imminent proscription of this type of government in the region, the possibility of establishing a military dictatorship if the armed forces overthrow the president is left out, therefore only one more scenario opens up: the Armed forces form a transitory military council to transfer power to a civilian government at a time determined by both parties, thus returning to a democratic regime. Said transfer could be conditioned in exchange for immunity for the military who have perpetrated crimes against the population, are related to organized crime or have committed other crimes such as embezzlement of public funds, corruption, etc.

c. Civil war. Inflation continues to rise, international financial organizations reject the request for more loans and credits, Russia and China refuse to renegotiate the payments of the Venezuelan debt and are not willing to return to being one of the sources of income that Venezuela needs, the Gross Domestic Product continues to fall due to economic unemployment due to the pandemic, oil prices remain so low that the income generated by these barrels is insufficient, there is not enough food and there is a shortage of medical supplies.

Maduro loses the little support he had. The Chavistas are desperate, they have lost faith in the government and have such low morale caused by the economic situation and the global health crisis that they will rise up against Maduro.

Venezuela collapses. The civil and military government leadership blame each other for the catastrophe, their fragile relationship fragments and leads them to a power struggle.

Chaos takes over the streets: further escalation of crime and violence. The "international community" is torn between intervening or not in the face of the tragedy. The future is uncertain, but Nicolás Maduro decides to leave office.

This is the worst case scenario.

d. Maduro takes refuge in Russia

Venezuela's regional allies will be passive in the face of the Venezuelan crisis, this due to their attention directed to their own internal problems derived from the pandemic and the global economic recession. Russia is negotiating Maduro's departure with the opposition and the United States.


The crises suffered by Venezuela are the product of the various actions carried out by the United States since the George W. Bush administration, such as the implementation of economic sanctions and the control of the narrative to shape preferences among its allies and the international community. Also, it is a consequence of Venezuela's economic dependence on the income generated by the export of barrels of oil and by the corrupt administration of Nicolás Maduro. For all these reasons, the United States is taking advantage of the health crisis and the global economic recession to corner Nicolás Maduro even more and force him to leave his post. This is demonstrated by the charges filed against the Venezuelan president, the offer of a democratic transition plan and the launch of a mega anti-drug operation in the hemisphere.

Some analysts or the media limit themselves to exposing only the oil resources and the assurance of Trump's re-election as the intentions behind the desire for a change in the government of Venezuela. Here four were exposed and argued.

The fall of Nicolás Maduro is argumentatively viable, for this reason four possible future scenarios were presented, the most convenient being the acceptance of the democratic transition plan.

*The author of this work hopes that this is the option taken, since it would avoid a tragedy and all parties would be involved to decide the best future for Venezuela.


    2The White House. (2020). ‘‘4/1/20: Members of the Coronavirus Task Hold a Press Briefing’’. The White House. Recuperado de:

    3Insight Crime. (2018). Venezuela: ¿Un estado mafioso? Insight Crime. Recuperado de:

    4Singer, Florantonia. (2019). ”El Banco Central de Venezuela admite que el PIB se ha hundido un 52% con Maduro”. El País. Recuperado de:

    5Clarín. (2020). ”El régimen de Maduro ¿Por qué se derrumba la producción petrolera en Venezuela”. Clarín. Recuperado de:

    6Insight Crime. (2018). Narcotráfico en el régimen venezolano: ”El Cartel de los Soles”. Recuperado de:

    7Russia Today. (2019). ”Los golpes de Estado apoyados por EE.UU. en Latinoamérica desde 1948 (INFOGRAFÍA). Russia Today. Recuperado de:

    8Véase: Gillespie, Tom. (2020). ”Coronavirus: Price of street drugs rises due lo lockdown measures, dealer says”. Sky News. Recuperado de:; Hamilton, Ian y Stevens, Alex. (2020). ”How coronavirus is changing the marker for illegal drugs”. The Conversation. Recuperado de:; Reynolds, Emma. (2020). ”It’s stockpiling, but not as you know it. Why Coronavirus is making people hoard illegal drugs”. CNN. Recuperado de:; Roach, April. (2020). ”Price of cocaine rises due to coronavirus lockdown measures”. Evening Standard. Recuperado de:

    9Véase: Sánchez, Guillem. (2020). ”El coronavirus detiene el narcotráfico: almacenes llenos de marihuana pero vacío de cocaína y heroína”. El Periódico. Recuperado de:; Sánchez, Nacho. (2020). ”Los porros ya cuestan a precio de oro”. El País. Recuperado de:

    1El punto diez estipula lo siguiente: ”Se establece una Comisión de la Verdad y la Reconciliación con el objetivo de investigar actos de violencia graves ocurridos desde 1999, y esta informa a la nación sobre las responsabilidades de los autores y la rehabilitación de las víctimas y sus familias. La Comisión cuenta con cinco miembros que el Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas nombra con el consentimiento del Consejo de Estado. La AN adopta una ley de amnistía de conformidad con las obligaciones internacionales de Venezuela, que cubre todos los delitos de carácter político desde 1999, excepto los crímenes de lesa humanidad. Argentina, Canadá, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay y Perú retiran su apoyo a la remisión a la Corte Penal Internacional”. U.S. Department of State. (2020). »Marco para la transición democrática de Venezuela». U.S. Department of State. Recuperado de

    10Bonello, Deborah. (2020). ”Coronavirus is leading to shortages of fentanyl and meth”. Vice. Recuperado de:

    11Mustian, Jim y Bleiberg, Jake. (2020). ”La pandemia de coronavirus asesta golpe al narcotráfico”. AP. Recuperado de:

    12Goodman, Joshua. (2020). ”EEUU: Expansión naval en Caribe no es para sacar a Maduro”. AP. Recuperado de:

    13Nye, Joseph. (2006). ”Think Again: Soft Power”. Foreign Policy. Recuperado de:

    14Rosas, María. (2001). Las sanciones económicas y los derechos humanos: algunas consideraciones para el debate. Aportes: Revista de la Facultad de Economía-BUAP, Año VI, Núm.18, pp.125-134 Recuperado de

    15White House. (2019). Executive order on blocking property of the Government of Venezuela. Recuperado de:

    16U.S. Department of the Treasury. (2019).Treasury Sanctions Venezuela’s State-Owned Oil Company Petroleo de Venezuela, S.A. U.S. Recuperado de:

    17BBC News Mundo. (2019). «Qué se sabe sobre los activos de Venezuela ”congelados” en el exterior». BBC. Recuperado de:

    18Moleiro, Alonso y Singer, Florantonia. (2020). ”El FMI rechaza conceder un crédito de 5.000 millones a Maduro para contener el coronavirus”. El País. Recuperado de:

    19U.S. Department of the Treasury. (2019). Treasury sanctions officials aligned with former presidente Nicolas Manduro and involved in repression and corruption. Recuperado de:

    20President of the United States. (2017). National Security Strategy of the United States of America. pp.25 Recuperado de:

    21Caballero, Félix y Tirado, Arantxa. (2019). ‘’Rusia en América Latina: ¿Amenaza para Estados Unidos?’’ Centro Estratégico Latinoamericano de Geopolítica. Recuperado de:

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