A broken socialist economy that enjoyed a variety of industry and was entirely dependent on oil crashed, largely because of Maduro’s failed central planning (recall: I have appointed apolitical military figures to most key ministries and government roles) and the devaluation of oil internationally.
This had to do with multiple factors including the Saudis rushing out more cheap oil, the discovery of additional oil reserves in the United States, and massive finds off the Gulf of Mexico.
Venezuela had one card to play, and it turned out to be worthless. Their economy has crumbled.
So they have an election of sorts. Guaidó wins. Maduro does not recognize the results. T
o make matters even more difficult, Mature has the support of over 70% of the military, which controls the majority of the oil supply.
They, therefore, have a stranglehold on the nation.
All the talk of civil war concerns this divide: the military-backed Madurians and those who want regime change.
China and Russia
To make matters even worse and entangling an international cast:
China and Russia have been investing billions of dollars in Venezuela infrastructure with guarantees to receive crude oil in return.
China, more so than Russia, also sees a strong relationship with Venezuela as a means of having a backdoor to the United States (i.e. a geopolitical footing in the Americas, the very reason why they are a great deal of the Panama Canal).
The United States, Canada, and most of the western world support Guaido as president, especially because Maduro is a totalitarian socialist dictator.
But as we have seen in Syria, Libya, and so forth, these sort of proxy wars do not bode well for the native populations.
If Maduro does not step down, which will not, there will be at least a few massacres and skirmishes.
If China and Russia do not abandon their investments in Venezuela, they are now fighting to proxy war with the West … again.
But China is getting killed by Trump’s trade tactics (which are actually genius, hence not one criticizing them), so Jinping Xi has decided if a few billion is worth risking another recession for.