US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has announced “tactical actions” by his supporters will begin next week after a nationwide protest, part of his “Operation Freedom” designed to topple President Nicolas Maduro.
The ominously vague “tactical action” relies on the organization of so-called “Aid and Freedom Committees,” according to a tweet from Guaido which scheduled the event for April 6. The committees, planned civilian “freedom cells” he set up across Venezuela with the help of opposition lawmakers in recent weeks, will supposedly rise up when he gives the signal, ultimately marching on the Miraflores presidential palace – where President Maduro has stubbornly remained despite Guaido’s self-coronation in January.
Guaido officially announced “Operation Freedom” earlier this month, advertising it as a “full-fledged revolution in all states of Venezuela simultaneously.” After the freedom and aid committees come “labor and sectoral committees” in the public and private sectors, to be followed by “constitutional forces” within the Venezuelan army – which with its continued loyalty to Maduro remains the primary thorn in Guaido’s side. Impatient with the military’s failure to join his coup, Guaido has hinted he is open to foreign military intervention. Meanwhile, for the US, “all options remain on the table.”
Guaido also called for a nationwide protest on Saturday, though it’s unclear how much popular support he actually enjoys among rank-and-file Venezuelans. His motorcade was ambushed on Tuesday in an act the US was quick to blame on Maduro.
Venezuelan regime-change dog-whistling has ramped up steeply in the past few weeks, as the country is repeatedly plunged into darkness by blackouts Maduro blames on outside interference. While Washington dismisses the accusations and says the fault lies with neglected infrastructure, using power outages as a tool to foster rebellion is something straight out of the playbook of a US-funded regime-change organization.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has hinted the worst is yet to come, tweeting that Venezuela will soon “enter a period of suffering no nation in our hemisphere has confronted in modern history.”
Maduro arrested Guaido’s chief of staff Roberto Marrero last week and charged the opposition with contracting Guatemalan and Colombian paramilitaries in order to carry out assassinations, sabotage, and acts of terrorism. He blamed the US, calling Marrero’s group an “armed terrorist cell.”