Americans arrested in Venezuela: Coup or Distraction?

Venezuela has reportedly arrested two Americans along with some local mercenaries who according to Venezuelan authorities, had planned a coup to oust President Nicolas Maduro by capturing him.

However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has contradicted the claims. Nevertheless, the story has got a curious twist after an American ‘private army’ company, ‘Silvercorp USA’, claimed to have orchestrated the raid at the behest of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. This comes when Pompeo said, “There was no US government direct involvement in this operation. As for who bankrolled it, we’re not prepared to share any more information about what we know took place”.

The United States and Venezuela have been at loggerheads for quite some time now. The rivalry has aggravated after anarchy in Venezuela worsened under Maduro with inflation hitting 13,00,000%, leading to migration of millions of people to the neighbouring nations. With over 5 million Venezuelans already fled, the situation is like a hybrid war waged to empty an entire resource-rich country. Consequently, US President Donald Trump has made ouster of the Maduro regime an objective of his Western Hemisphere policy.

Contrarily, in the recent past, there has been a noted calm in the war of words, aggressive posturing and the diplomatic tussle between the two countries. But with the recent historic drop in the oil prices amid the global war against China-originated Coronavirus, Maduro is facing his toughest test. These problems have compounded the woes of an already crippled economy suffering from pressing international sanctions. Here, what needs to be noted is, the coup allegation has come as a welcome distraction to dictator Maduro who has turned Venezuela into a failed state and is yet fixated to the chair.