There is certainly a complete mess in Venezuela. And it is hard to say what is going to happen across the ocean in the nearest future. Maduro, of course, pales before charismatic Hugo Chavez, and the crisis of the "21st century revolution" has been on a constant rise since the very first days of flush of victory: I have witnessed this with my own two eyes. And yet there are a number of points to be made.
First. Today Maduro is being overthrown by people of the same ideology who brought the country to Chavez's revolution. That is, people who thumbed their nose at the nation in the past. And this is not only my conclusion but was bitterly acknowledged by many Chavez's opponents back in the day. I mean, of course, the smartest of them. Has the current liberal opposition learned anything from the past? Or does it remind of the Burbons who "forgot nothing and learned nothing?"
In addition, many young people following the opposition today do not remember the environment before Chavez. Quite normal. Generation after generation Latin America has traditionally been like buckets in a well. So, after a while the pendulum is likely to swing the other way round again.
Second. Do not forget that while rather ineffectively managing the economy as a whole, Chavez nevertheless did a lot for the Venezuelan poor (aided by the Cubans). In fact, he did everything the socialist model is strong for: successfully eliminated illiteracy, built houses for the poor, fought for the sovereignty of Venezuela against the much-hated gringos, etc. Therefore, a large proportion of Venezuelans – elderly ones – will remember this, despite the current shortage of food and medicines.
Third. Chavez did one more thing that will either reset the opposition's struggle or make the new historical turn extremely painful. Chavez not only purged the old military, but turned it into an elite army. In other words, the well-being of all the local generals and most officers is on the line today. It stands to reason that thus far leaders of all the army swirls wore sergeant insignia. Overthrowing the current regime will require a quest for army weaknesses and provision of defectors with solid guarantees of their future well-being. Difficult, but largely possible.
In actual practice dealing with the army is much more important than the position in OAS, an organization controlled by the United States throughout its entire existence. Cuba had not been a member of the OAS for decades but this had nowhere near the influence over Fidel.
Neither will the situation be affected by the recognition of Juan Guaido as the new President of Venezuela by a small and infinitely distant country like Georgia. Mrs. President not only showed her allegiance to the White House course faster than anyone else, but took full advantage of delightedly reminding Venezuela about the diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. No big deal of course, Caracas will not give it a second glance, but Mrs. Zurabishvili will fall asleep with a smile on her lips today.
Fall asleep without thinking about having made a mistake actually – it does not behove the new President to become small-minded and thus ridiculous this quickly.