Bloodshed and chaos: Russia’s preferred scenario for Venezuela?

According to Secretary Pompeo,

Maduro had a plane idling on the tarmac to leave Venezuela, but Russians indicated to Maduro that he should stay. Pompeo said that Maduro was headed to Havana, Cuba, and that it is “a fact” that Maduro was prepping to depart…

There’s probably no way to confirm it for the time being, but it sounds plausible. The last thing Russia wants is a peaceful transfer of power in Venezuela. It would be a nightmare for the Kremlin. In April, its “ally” in Khartoum was removed from power by its own generals, and Ukrainian voters once again reminded their Russian neighbors that it’s OK for a sitting presidents to be voted out of office. To allow Venezuela’s duly elected parliament to assume power would set another dangerously tempting example for the increasingly dissatisfied Russian populace. Maduro is a failure and can’t be propped up for very long but the Kremlin would hate to see him go with only a whimper.

The Kremlin wants its subjects to believe that whenever a popular uprising manages to remove a dictator from power, the end result must be chaos, war, impoverishment, and loss of sovereignty. Its preferred outcome in Venezuela, given that Maduro’s regime is unsustainable, is quite possibly a bloody mess, which would probably result in a joint Colombian and Brazilian military intervention.

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