There was a video of an armoured car ramming protestors, but no reported deaths. “The uprising never reached the critical mass needed to provoke mass desertion,” says Sergio Gúzman, a Bogota based political risk analyst. “Maduro has exercised restraint in putting down protests at a time when violent repression could provoke international intervention.”
What now for Guaidó, thought to somewhere in eastern Caracas? Reports from Caracas suggest he had planned a bigger uprising for 1 May but that news of his imminent arrest and the withdrawal of elements of his intended military support forced him to bring the date forward. This could have been his last shot. “I think the moment has gone for Guaido,” says Guzman. “Maduro may have lost some military support but the opposition is losing momentum at a greater rate.”
However, the support of some elements of the Venezuelan intelligence agency (SEBIN) for the uprising and senator Marco Rubio’s suggestion, if true, that four members of Maduro’s inner circle had a hand in planning the rebellion could increase tension and suspicion in the military.
“At first glance the coup was a failure,” says Watson, “but there could be corollary affects. The military’s loyalty is being tested, US sanctions are beginning to bite and Maduro can’t arrest Guaido for fear of international reprisals. It’s a fragile situation, we could see another major event.”