Caracas (GPA) – According to a source cited in a report by The Daily Beast, the Russians of have their own coup plot in Venezuela.
According to two men, who The Daily Beast identified simply as Simon and Alejandro, there is an unspoken consensus that self-proclaimed “Venezuelan President” Juan Guaido has failed in his mission to take power from the legitimate President, Nicolas Maduro. However, while this may be obvious, these two sources there is another plot being carried out behind the scenes.
The first source named by The Daily Beast, Simon, is said to be a member of the Venezuelan armed services present at La Carlota airbase when Guaido and his few military supporters demanded entry. Simon claims that the soldiers who were with Guaido “had all been given money and offered an exit from Venezuela in exchange for their participation in the events of April 30”
However, according to the Daily Beast, there is also an “organizing force within the opposition” that is not affiliated with any side vying for power in Venezuela but strictly invested in seeing Maduro leave office. It is from this supposed faction of high-ranking officials, that the source Alejandro allegedly comes from who told The Daily Beast that the failed coup earlier this week was actually only a minor setback.
According to Alejandro, the real plan behind the scenes is not to install Guaido, but instead, a plan negotiated by Russia to install a military dictatorship. The supposed future-strong man said to be the pick to replace Maduro is Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López after removing Guaido as an obstacle.
The source Alejandro says that, originally, Padrino and several other generals were working as intermediaries between Russia, Maduro, and Guaido to facilitate Guaido taking power and Maduro leaving for Cuba (a story similar to that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo). Then, apparently plans changed, and Alejandro says and “Guaidó found out that they were going to arrest him and most of us think that he was simply set up” and the generals who had promised to help “were going to double-cross him and send [former opposition leader] Leopoldo López to Ramo Verde [military prison].”
This is apparently what forced Guaido and Lopez to move too early and partially explains why they may have presumed to have more military support. Alejandro says that this somehow screwed up a plan to actually put Padrino in power which led to the military commander urging – on Russia’s behalf – that Maduro to instead stay in Caracas. According to Alejandro, if Guaido’s coup had “not been aborted, today we would have a military dictatorship led by Padrino and in the service of Russia.” This means that “the opposition wasn’t shot down, it dodged a bullet” in Alejandro’s opinion.
While it’s anyone’s guess who these sources are it is important to note that what is being alleged by Alejandro runs counter to all of Russia’s public statements up until now. Russia has stood firmly by Maduro up until this point and has even been training Venezuela’s military, which means that the Bolivarian forces are prepared even for the worst case scenario. Russia has never been in the business of regime change (just look to Bashar al Assad in Syria if you need evidence of Moscow standing by an ally) and despite what ‘Alejandro’ may have told The Daily Beast, the scenario of Russia installing a military dictatorship seems highly unlikely.