How long can Maduro last in Venezuela?

Venezuela’s crisis deepens as clashes continue
02 May 2019
Venezuelans grow weary of struggle against Maduro
05 May 2019

Juan Guaidó’s ‘final phase’ attempt to topple the president floundered but the opposition hopes he cannot hold on to power for long

John Paul Rathbone in New York and Gideon Long in Caracas

It was only a letter. Yet it was central to the heady mix of spy craft and back-channel talks that sparked the opposition’s boldest attempt yet to claim the Venezuelan presidency, in a fast-escalating crisis that could yet suck the US into a bloody civil conflict in South America.

Until this week, General Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera was one of socialist leader Nicolás Maduro’s closest confidants. But now, in 664 carefully chosen words, the head of Venezuela’s feared SEBIN secret police described the Maduro regime as corroded by corruption, division and failure — a situation, he suggested, with only one solution: rebellion, including by him.