These are the highlights of our Political Risk Report (PRR) published on Friday, May 8th:
- SEBIN had been aware of plans for an armed incursion into Venezuela since early February, when they were told by sources in Central America of meetings to discuss the plans.
- Cuban officers had collected intelligence about the operation in Colombia and Miami, and the regime was also sourcing information from someone directly involved in the financing arrangements of the operation.
- Government sources report Operation Gedeón increases the chances of Juan Guaidó’s arrest. The General Prosecutor’s Office is building a case, using the general contract allegedly signed by Guaidó.
- At SEBIN, they believe the CIA leaked information about the operation to the Associated Press in mid-April, as they were aware that the regime had infiltrated the mercenaries, and had failed to convince former American soldiers to drop out of the operation.
- While the U.S. government was aware of the paramilitary force gathering in Colombia and former U.S. soldiers training with them, sources report they were unhappily surprised about the level of involvement of the caretaker government in the operation.
For the U.S., the way the Guaidó camp managed this should be uncomfortable. It’s evident there are other actors advancing a dangerous agenda to overthrow Maduro, that Guaidó can’t do anything about it, and that the opposition in general looks increasingly irrelevant. They surely notice this in Washington, but also inside the country, and it could be used by Guaidó’s competitors inside the opposition, and of course by a government that scored an even more spectacular victory than the one they got on April 30th, 2019.
To read the entire Political Risk Report, including details of the opposition power struggle caused by Operation Gedeon, subscribe here. The Political Risk Report is a weekly, in-depth, forward-looking assessment of the state of political conflict in Venezuela, written by researchers in Caracas working with information gathered through an extensive network of contacts both inside the government and the opposition.