The April 30 Rebellion in Venezuela: Another Hypothesis

Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo Lopez accompanied by military deserters outside the Carlota military base on April 30. 

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Jorge Hernández Fonseca, Lisbon, May 3, 2019 — As we now know, the rebellion in Venezuela on April 30 against the Maduro regime did not achieve its goal of overthrowing the dictatorship. Several likely hypotheses have emerged to explain what happened. In my opinion, however, the actual course of events to date does not support them. I think as Cubans we have a much clearer idea of what is likely to have happened.

We know that there were high level contacts between Juan Guaidó’s team and the United States on the one hand and between senior officials close to Maduro on the other, suggesting a conspiracy. Senior commanders would support Guaidó in overthrowing Maduro, apparently through military action. But according to this hypothesis, the designated date was delayed, frustrating action by the high command and leaving Guaidó on the sidelines.

Cubans know all too well that the main tactic of the island’s secret services is to infiltrate the ranks of its enemies. On the other hand, Cuban counterintelligence plays a dominant role in Venezuela. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that Cuban intelligence agents were aware of contacts between Guaidó’s team and senior government officials, which would have allowed them to put together a plan to thwart the scheme. If so, it appears Maduro’s high command followed it faithfully.

Personally, I find it highly unlikely that there were contacts between Maduro’s military and Guaidó’s men, or contacts with the outside world, since none were detected by the intelligence services. Rather than being aware of such contacts, I think it is much more likely that the intelligence services promoted the idea.

There is a senior official, the head of the Venezuela’s intelligence service, who for personal reasons has broken with Maduro. Though not one of the conspirators, logic suggests he will be replaced as the price for the “broken plates” of having allowed the release Leopoldo Lopez. Freeing Lopez has been one of the plan’s successes, and not an insignificant one.

Given the nature of this case, I understand that there is a lot of disinformation that has deliberately made public and that, therefore, no one has yet to come up with a plausible hypothesis. Nevertheless, I submit this as a contribution to the debate, confident that many Cubans will share my belief that, knowing how Cuba’s secret services operate, infiltration is behind these actions.


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