Does Maduro really have the armed forces?

We hear that President Nicolás Maduro has the support of the armed forces.  But does he really? 

Remember the Kremlin back in 1991?  They ordered the armed forces to put down the Yeltsin movement, but they didn't.  In other words, soldiers were not willing to fight their own people to support a corrupt and unpopular regime.

I see the same thing happening down in Venezuela.

First, Maduro has not sent a task force to arrest interim president Juan Guaido, as we see in news reports:  

More than 700 opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have been arrested during the latest push by Venezuela's opposition to oust the socialist leader.

But there's one anti-government activist security forces notably haven't touched: Juan Guaido, the lawmaker who declared himself interim president in a direct challenge to Maduro's rule.

So why not?  Why not deliver the knockout punch and put your opponent in jail?

I think that Maduro knows that such a move would provoke one of these three reactions, or all of them at once:

1. The armed forces will not arrest the man supported by the people in the streets.

2. Maduro is afraid that he will be arrested.

3. Best of all, it could bring about a military intervention or some kind of regional force made up of U.S. Marines, Brazilian troops, and others.

Does Maduro really have the armed forces on his side?  He probably has the Cubans, but not much more.

Maduro needs to get out quickly – or he will spend a long time chatting to a cellmate called Noriega in the U.S.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Monica Showalter adds: Marco Rubio has an update that supports Silvio Canto's assertion: