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If the Army Stands With Maduro, What Is Plan B?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via

“Pay the soldiers. The rest do not matter.”

This was the deathbed counsel given to his sons by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in A.D. 211.

Nicolas Maduro must today appreciate the emperor’s insight.

For the political survival of this former bus driver and union boss hangs now upon whether Venezuela’s armed forces choose to stand by him or to desert him and support National Assembly leader Juan Guaido.

Wednesday, Guaido declared Maduro’s election last May to a second six-year term to be a sham, and had himself inaugurated as acting president.

Thursday, the defense minister and army chief General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, with his top brass, dismissed the 35-year-old Guaido as a U.S. puppet, and pledged allegiance to Maduro.

Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council: “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. … Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

By Friday, however, the world had already taken sides.

Russia and China stood by Maduro, as did NATO ally Turkey, with President Erdogan phoning his support. Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia were also with Maduro.

Backing Guaido are Venezuela’s neighbors Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia, the U.S. and Canada, and the Organization of American States.

Britain, France, Germany and Spain have sent Maduro a diplomatic ultimatum: Agree in eight days to new elections or we back the 35-year-old Guaido, who, until this year, was an unknown.

All options are on the table, says President Donald Trump. But Russia called Guaido’s action a “quasi-coup” and warned that intervention could result in “catastrophic consequences.” Vladimir Putin also phoned Maduro with his support.

The stakes for all sides here are huge. Russia has contractors in Venezuela and has lent the regime billions. In a show of solidarity, Putin recently flew two strategic bombers to Venezuela.

China has loaned Venezuela tens of billions, with Caracas paying Beijing back in oil.

Cuba has sent military and intelligence officers to maintain internal security. Hugo Chavez had seen in Fidel Castro a father figure and modeled his new Venezuela on Castro’s Cuba — with similar results.

Where hundreds of thousands fled Castro’s revolution in the 1960s, three million Venezuelans have fled to Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and other South American countries and the USA.

The economy is in a shambles. Though Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on earth, production is a fraction of what it once was. Cronyism and corruption are endemic. Inflation has destroyed the currency. There is poverty, malnutrition and shortages of every necessity of modern life.

Yet, still, the crucial question: What will the soldiers do? And if the military stands with Maduro, and Maduro refuses to go, what do the Americans do to force him out?

Invade? That would invite disaster. Venezuela is not Panama, Haiti or Grenada. Larger than Texas, its population is more than 30 million. And U.S. forces are already committed around the world.

A blockade and sanctions would magnify and deepen the suffering of the people of Venezuela long before they would bring down the regime. Would our allies support a blockade? And if years of suffering by the Venezuelan people have not shaken Maduro’s hold on power, what makes us believe more of the same would persuade him?

Maduro and his army are being offered amnesty if they peacefully depart. But what would Maduro’s fate be if he flees?

If he gives up power under U.S. threat, he is finished and disgraced as a coward. Would he not prefer to go down fighting?

And if the leadership of the army should abandon Maduro, there are younger ambitious officers who would surely see a rewarding future in fighting to save the regime.

Are we inviting a civil war in Venezuela? Should the shooting start in Caracas, what do we do then?

Did anyone think this through?

Maduro is an incompetent brutal dictator whose ideology has helped to destroy a nation. But if he can change the narrative from a confrontation between a tyrant and his persecuted people to that of an embattled defender of Venezuela being attacked by Yankee imperialists and their domestic lackeys, that could resonate among the masses in Latin America.

And from all indications, Maduro intends to defy the U.S. and rally the radicals and anti-Americans in the hemisphere and the Third World.

Guiado’s constitutional claim to the presidency of Venezuela was a scheme cooked up in collusion with Washington, made in the USA, with Secretary of State Pompeo, John Bolton and Sen. Marco Rubio signing on, and President Trump signing off. This was Plan A.

But if Plan A does not succeed, and Maduro, with America’s prestige on the line, defies our demand that he yield, what do we do then? What is Plan B?

“Assad must go!” said Barack Obama. Well, Assad is still there — and Obama is gone.

Will the same be said of Maduro?

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Olivia Kroth

The author writes: “Russia and China stood by Maduro, as did NATO ally Turkey, with President Erdogan phoning his support. Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia were also with Maduro.”

Not to forget El Salvador, Uruguay, Iran, Syria, South Africa, who all are standing on President Maduro’s side, because he is the democratically elected President of Venezuela.

I could imagine that Nicolas Maduro will be President of Venezuela longer than Donald Trump will be President of the USA.

Olivia Kroth

US sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company is fruitless.
Despite the sanctions and the opposition’s attempts to control the country’s oil industry, Venezuela continues to extract and export oil. Supply volumes are impressive – 1 million barrels per day.
According to official data of the IMF, the people of Venezuela live much better than those in poor Ukraine.

Olivia Kroth

More Deep State scheming of the US gone awry, ha ha ha!
Pompeo and Bolton: Dick und Doof (Fat and Stupid, two famous German comedians).
The fat one should go on a diet, the stupid one should shave his moustache and retire in an asylum for fools.


The citizens of the US had a chance to end the empire by voting for Ron Paul as President. Those who were even aware that their was big problems brewing in the US were unwilling to give up the welfare state and easy money from the Fed. Most people were, as Paul Craig Roberts says, “insouciant” and remain so. It appears that other nations will have to do away with the empire, and I hope they are planning on doing it economically rather than militarily.

Olivia Kroth

In Venezuela, the citizens are mobilizing against the coup of opposition activist Guaido and a possible invasion of US troops. In this video by TELESUR, Diosdado Cabello, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, is speaking to a large crowd of citizens in the state of Apure, Central Venezuela (Los Llanos, the Grasslands). He is talking about media manipulation in favour of the opposition.


More mayhem from the Talmudo-Satanists of the USA.
Does anyone not in their pay still take any of these incompetent, deviant monsters seriously?
Quarantine the USA behind its two-ocean sized moats.
All nations must stand up for the survival of the Human Race which means the utter isolation of the USA as the source and vector of global madness.


hey asswipe, Maduro is NOT a dictator. take your USA propaganda elsewhere. Under communism, millions of Venezuelans were brought out of poverty.
I lived and grew up under communism too, and I was NEvEr hungry in my life, never lacked medical care and never SAW A SINGLE BEGGER or a homeless on the street. Nobody was rich, but nobody as starving beggar on the street either.
Shame on the duran for publishing such BS.

Olivia Kroth

I also do not like US propaganda, hoyeru.

I visited Venezuela several times in 2013 and 2014, when President Chavez was still alive. I never saw any hungry people there.


This article repeats the lies of the US govt mafia stealing the wealth from poor people. The article claims Moduro is a brutal dictator: nonsense where’s your evidence
also the economic collapse has everything po do with sanctions and little to do whatever way Moduro organizes the economy .

Gio Con
Gio Con

Buchanan has to mouth the MSM claptrap about Maduro being a “brutal dictator,” and shed tears over the suffering of the Venezuelan people — but he utterly fails to even mention the 20 years of US economic sabotage and coup attempts that have contributed to the corruption and suffering in Venezuelan. But then, Pat Buchanan is just another flunky right-wing politician who only sees what the MSM wants him to see.


/ Hugo Chavez… modeled his new Venezuela on Castro’s Cuba
No, Chávez was too much the democrat and allowed US gov’t officials and faux US NGO’s to remain in Venezula for one thing. Castro tossed them all, apparently on Che Guevara’s advice. Venezuela has a mixed public/private economy somewhat like Sweden or Norway do.

I never thought Pat Buchanan was all that smart but be should try to, at least, pretend to be telling something near the truth.

Robert Bruce
Robert Bruce

Pat never seems to have the fortitude to go all in and never completely knocks the existing order.

Shaun Ramewe
Shaun Ramewe

Plan B for the political-meddling media-faking resource-thieving terrorist-abetting false-flagging coward-pervert Zio-Yank war criminals is to mass murder innocent civilians by bombing them and sending in black-flag mercenaries – like in sovereign oil-rich lied-about pro-democracy Syria.

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