Ronaldo Schemidt | AFP | Getty Images
Anti-government activists and the National Guard clash in Venezuela’s third city, Valencia, on August 6, 2017, a day after a new assembly with supreme powers and loyal to President Nicolas Maduro started functioning in the country.
Venezuela could face a full-fledged civil war if military support for dictator Nicolas Maduro erodes.
Venezuelan authorities arrested seven men over the weekend whom they claimed took part in an attack on a military base outside of Valencia, the country’s third-largest city. The strike took place after a video made the rounds on social media Sunday featuring men in military fatigues calling for a rebellion against Maduro.
Venezuela video tweet
“The significance lies in whether this suggests that Maduro is losing his grip on the military and whether we can expect to see more mutinies to come, or if this is just an isolated incident,” Stuart Culverhouse, global head of macro and fixed income research at Exotix Capital, said in an email.
“Maintaining the support of the military is a key factor in Maduro’s survival, and many in the military will have a vested interest in ensuring (his) survival,” Culverhouse said.
Venezuela’s top-ranking military officials have benefited greatly from Maduro’s government. They hold influential roles and have received considerable financial sums in exchange for their loyalty to Maduro. But experts say that support is waning as the country’s economic and social conditions continue to deteriorate.
As support for Maduro dwindles, the chances of a civil war increase.