Operation Boot Maduro has begun

As I noted yesterday regarding National Security Advisor John Bolton's and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statements, something is going on with Venezuela. Both Bolton and Pompeo told Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro to get the heck out and suggested the U.S. was ready to recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaido as the country's president. They had perfect grounds for it, because Maduro illegally and unconstitutionally swore himself in to another term after a fraud election and didn't even show up at the right place for his inauguration. The statements coming from the U.S. were unprecedented - evidence of a true recognition of the facts on the ground, evidence of the U.S. leading, and evidence of "a plan," as I argued.

With everyone on the same page now, one can see the outlines of the stage in Venezuela being set for action.

So now we're seeing a coordinated ballet of actions unfolding, from multiple directions, to an extent that actually reminds me of the series of events leading to the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

There's some kind of plan because according to some of the most credible Venezuelan sources on Twitter, this is what went down:

Here is a quick Google translation, with some tweaks from me:
War advisory | Armed forces from different countries of the Americas communicate with their contacts and peers in the FAN (B*) [Venezuelan armed forces] about the certain disposition of their governments to recognize shortly @jguaido as president in charge of the Bolivarian Republic of VENEZUELA. Will they react?
So now we got military on military contacts from Latin countries to the Venezuelan military, and one can only guess what went on in those conversations. I can imagine the Venezuelan military men scared to act, but I can also imagine the tough military officers from place such as Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Peru offering a steady hand of support if the Venezuelans will just get the show over, and lawfully act to dislodge Maduro and bring him to justice. The Venezuelans are undoubtedly operating in a shambling situation, with everything broken and order falling apart - they even have soldiers fleeing - and only the Cubans to surveil and scare them. One can only wonder what that must look like from the inside.
There was also this, stated earlier and retweeted by Venezuela's respected (pre-Chavez) elder statesman, Diego Arria, who obviously recognizes the importance of those coordinated phone calls:



He argues the military is key. If you can understand Spanish, he has much more here.
Now here's the next thing that's happened

SAO PAULO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Brazil's government on Saturday issued a statement saying it recognized Venezuela's Congressional leader, who opposes President Nicolas Maduro, as the rightful president of Venezuela.

Maduro, who started a second term as president this week, has found himself increasingly isolated as countries around the world have called his continued leadership illegitimate.

Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's opposition-led Congress, said this week he was prepared to assume the country's presidency on an interim basis and call elections.

Brazil is the big dog on the South American bloc and its statement means something.

It comes after its smaller neighbor, Paraguay, pulled up stakes and cut off diplomatic relations with Venezuela during the phony inaugural, which was a pitch-perfect thing to do. I wrote about that here.

Next up, more nations are going to follow Brazil, not just because it's big, but because Latin America is now loaded with leaders whose conservative views are closely aligned with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro's.They know about the Venezuelan shambles, they've experienced the failure of socialism in their own countries which is why they themselves got elected, and they all now know that there's a problem in Caracas. Following Brazil and the U.S. is going to be a piece of cake for them. The plan to boot Maduro peaceably if possible is going to gain steam.

And now the phone calls are coming, from all directions, and the Venezuelan military in coming days may just take center stage. A plan is moving quickly, likely the work of the U.S. and Brazil, working hand in hand and bringing in the otherwise isolated and debilitated Venezuelans themselves. For Maduro, that's no longer cause for paranoia. With a plan like this, it looks someone really is out to get him.


Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donna T. Jeffries / public domain