The U.S. involvement in Venezuela, including coup talk, can be seen by some as imperial America meddling again in Latin America. The track record, to be sure, is nothing to be proud of, and President Trump has underscored that “all options are on the table.” But this isn’t Guatemala or Chile or Cuba. The OAS and most Latin American countries are on board with regime change as the only avenue to halt further devolution of a country that is in economic, health-care and criminal-justice free fall and has created a refugee crisis with its neighbors.
But there is one Latin American constant: the military. So far, it’s supporting the de facto dictator, Nicolás Maduro. But opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the 35-year-old leader of the National Assembly, has notably not been arrested. Moreover, he has made it clear that he is supportive of an amnesty law the assembly passed that encourages members of the armed forces to switch their loyalty to him. That could be determinative.