FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 02 March 2016

How Venezuela Would Remove Its President


With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's term could come to an abrupt end. Both the opposition-controlled legislature and Maduro's own party are calling for him to resign to deflect public anger from the government.

According to Stratfor sources, the opposition has already discussed with the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) the possibility of forming a joint post-Maduro junta to govern the country.

Over the past few months, Maduro and his faction of the PSUV have apparently become isolated from the rest of the government. In Venezuela's military-dominated politics, Maduro has represented only a minority civilian faction since being appointed in 2013 following President Hugo Chavez's death. Consequently, Maduro has depended on the loyalty of the military, but those ties are now fraying.

Progress on any junta discussions depends on whether powerful military leaders, such as Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez, consider a junta or another transitional government to be in the country's interests. At this point, it appears that at least a significant segment of the armed forces, including retired and middle-ranking officers, may support a transition; it is up to the military to deal with any social unrest created by the country's collapsing economy. According to one Stratfor source, Padrino Lopez backs Maduro's removal, albeit in a manner that preserves the president's dignity. National Assembly Speaker Henry Ramos Allup has also claimed that a faction of current and former military leaders led by Zulia state Gov. Francisco Arias Cardenas is considering Maduro's resignation as a possible means of dealing with the political and economic crisis.

A change in government would enable a new administration to begin structural economic reforms that Maduro has long opposed. It would also assuage public anger against the government that could erupt into street protests. The question, though, is how such a leadership change would take place. The events of the next few will months will in large part determine which of four possible scenarios will play out. The risk of social upheaval because of the country's soaring inflation will be a given, no matter how Maduro is replaced.

Scenario 1: Maduro Remains in Power Until 2019 Elections

This is increasingly unlikely, given that numerous members of the PSUV and the opposition coalition have begun substantive discussions on the president's removal. Even if Maduro manages to overcome the attempts to remove him and PSUV factions against him are swayed to continue supporting him, the prospect of several more years of rampant inflation, food shortages and government inaction on economic reforms could spur major protests.

Scenario 2: Maduro Is Recalled with a Referendum or Constitutional Amendment

There are currently two recall initiatives threatening Maduro's continued rule. One is a proposed constitutional amendment that would shorten the president's term to four years and set new elections in December 2016. The other is a proposed recall referendum. Both could potentially be presented to the Venezuelan public for vote. The National Assembly has begun discussing the amendment; no progress has been made on the referendum.

The opposition coalition has yet to publicly announce final plans for recalling Maduro, likely because it is still the subject of internal discussion and, potentially, of negotiations between the opposition and the government. Because both a constitutional and recall referendum are very real threats to the government and would show the extent of public dissatisfaction with Maduro, the more likely they look to pass, the more likely opposition and PSUV leaders are to work with one another.

However, conducting a recall referendum would likely be more problematic for the opposition than a constitutional amendment. A referendum could be challenged by the Supreme Court or the National Electoral Council, both of which are still under PSUV control.

Scenario 3: Maduro Is Forced to Resign

Forcing the president to resign could lead to the formation of a junta or other transitional government. It would almost certainly have to include opposition civilians, or else be given little legitimacy by foreign governments. It would also open a direct path to the presidency for the opposition. According to the Venezuelan constitution, new elections must be held within 30 days of the president's resignation. The National Assembly speaker would rule the country until elections could be held.

Default on the country's foreign debt or a major unpopular domestic political move, such as a potential expropriation of Polar Enterprises, could trigger such a forced resignation. This scenario, too, would likely entail substantial negotiations between the government and opposition, if only because a possible transfer of political power to the opposition, especially in the presidency and the legislature, would raise uncertainty for the PSUV leaders, some of who face criminal charges abroad.

The timing of the president's resignation will be crucial as well. If the president is removed before January 2017, the opposition can make a strong legal case for the government to hold new elections. But if the president is removed after that date, whoever occupies the vice presidency will be president until 2019. Members of the political elite might wish to delay a transition into next year, but the risk of social upheaval as a result of the economic crisis could motivate them to seek a quicker transition.

Scenario 4: Military Coup Replaces Maduro

Finally, a segment of the armed forces could attempt a coup against the president, but this option is less likely. It would occur if Maduro resists calls for his resignation or if a military faction defies its commanders and conducts a coup regardless. Still, Padrino Lopez is thought to be against the option of removing Maduro by force and would rather discuss the president's negotiated removal instead.

"How Venezuela Would Remove Its President is republished with permission of Stratfor."

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Rising Tide Does Not Lift All Ships
Comments on Feyerabend’s ‘Against Method’, Part II
News Blog
New Seasonal Outlook Updates from NOAA and JAMSTEC - Let's Compare Them.
Infographic Of The Day: Driving Into A Battery Powered Future
Earthquake Risk - Location Matters
Investor Alert: Be On The Lookout For Investment Scams Related To Hurricane Matthew
Lost In Translation: Five Common English Phrases You May Be Using Incorrectly
The Size And Scope Of Samsung's Business
Immigration Is The Top Worry For Britons
People Killed By Russian Airstrikes In Syria
Have You Taken These 4 Simple Steps To Improve Your Trading?
14 October 2016: ECRI's WLI Growth Index Insignificantly Declines
Mom Breaks Down In Tears When Son With Autism Meets Service Dog
Rail Week Ending 15 October 2016 Paints A Negative Economic View
What Is The New Normal For U.S. Growth?
Investing Blog
FinTech Is Taking A Bite Out Of Banks
Options Early Assignment - Should You Worry?
Opinion Blog
US 2016 Election: Will US-China Relations Change
Prop. 51 Versus A State-Owned Bank: How California Can Save $10 Billion On A $9 Billion Loan
Precious Metals Blog
How Will The Election Outcome Impact Precious Metals?
Live Markets
21Oct2016 Market Close: Major US Indexes Close Flat On Low Volume, Crude Prices Resume Climb, US Dollar Stabilizes In Mid 98 Handle, Yes, Most Investors Are Worried Which Way This Market Will Go
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

Crowdfunding ....



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved