Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, was interviewed by CNN International on the anti-Maduro protests taking place in Venezuela as well as the role of Cuba in the Maduro regime.
Comments from Michael Shifter:
“[Guaidó] was hoping that he’d have the military switch just like he wanted this to happen when he first emerged on the scene in January, and then [again] in February with the humanitarian aid effort on the border. This was a bold and brazen move today, he has more military on his side today than he did yesterday but certainly not enough to topple this regime. I think we saw today that this regime is dug in and still has the top brass backing Nicolas Maduro.”
“Guaidó is determined to sustain the pressure to keep it up, he’s calling for people to go to the streets tomorrow. He still is very much committed to a democratic transition in in Venezuela but he has encountered very formidable obstacles. The main question is what the armed forces are going to do.”
“That’s the risk for Guaidó, that many people who have been following him and believing in him will become discouraged and disappointed and will become frustrated because he’s promised that this will will happen he’s taken very bold steps, very courageous steps, but it hasn’t hasn’t turned out that way.”
“The the slim ray of hope is that the military will realize that that Guaidó is very fierce and very relentless and will try to figure out a way with within the military itself to try to negotiate an end to this crisis. It may not be an end that includes Guaidó, they may take take power into their own hands and pursue a different course but I think they may be realizing what’s happening every day is that this regime is under enormous pressure domestically and internationally even though the the government did not fall today.”
“The Cubans need Maduro, Maduro still gives oil to Cuba and without the Venezuelan support Cuba’s economy would completely collapse so there’s a strong dependency there. I think that what President Trump is trying to do by threatening Cuba obviously hasn’t worked. I don’t think there’s any chance that the Cubans will back off supporting Maduro in the face of such threats. It clearly has been demonstrated over a period of time that [imposing threats] does not work, it does not change Cuban behavior.”