Youtube / BBC World Service

Michael Shifter spoke with the BBC’s Duncan Golestani and discussed the complications and unrest currently unraveling in Venezuela. Shifter first addressed the uprising that took place in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, clarifying that it is difficult to analyze what it represents given that it is a small crack in a military that mostly supports the Maduro regime. Shifter went on to explain that an enormous amount of corruption lies in the military and supporting Maduro is in most members’ interests. Finally, he discussed the firing of Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, citing it as a growing pattern of the Maduro regime quashing any defiance or dissent of the administration.

Comments by Michael Shifter:

“It’s very hard to know what this (the military uprising) really represents. But the fact that there is discontent and there are some uprisings and rebellions is not surprising given the situation in the country.”

“There is an enormous amount of corruption (among the Venezuela military). Many are involved in drug trafficking and so they have vested interests in this government. It is going to be very difficult for them to give up power. If they do so, they’re going to be concerned about prosecution and so they tighten their grip.”

“(The firing of Luisa Ortega Díaz) is part of a pattern that we’ve seen already in Venezuela and it is getting worse, it is intensifying. Any potential defiance or dissent to the Maduro government is going to be quashed.”

“With this new assembly that has been created this week, there is a chance that the legitimate democratic assembly will be dissolved.”

Watch the full interview here: