Some politicians and folks on the left in US, Europe and Latam wonder if what is happening in Venezuela is a coup against de facto President Nicolas Maduro. Let’s use an analogy that might help.
Imagine a world where US President Donald Trump stacked the Supreme Court and other institutions with political hacks. The midterms come, and Democrats win a resounding 2/3 majority in Congress. Stunned, Trump gets courts to declare Congress null and void, ignores its decisions.
Trump then creates another Congress, filled with his own supporters, to pass laws. When there are street protests against this, he sends out National Guard to crack down. More than 100 are killed by security forces. Thousands arbitrarily arrested.
Top democratic leaders are arrested or forced into exile. Some are tortured.
Trump then heads for re-election. But his administration bars any top Democrat from running. The Democrats boycott the election. Trump holds it anyway and wins! No credible observers are allowed. Even the guy who set up the electronic voting system says there’s fraud.
Trump is sworn in by his fake congress. The real Congress, meanwhile, says he’s an illegitimate president. And, according to law, they swear in the head of Congress as the legitimate president until new elections can be held. That interim president is recognized by many nations.
Now, is that a coup by the real Congress? Or has the coup already taken place by the president? In a nutshell, that’s what happened in Venezuela. (A clear yet simple explanation of the Venezuelan situation by David Luhnow, Latin America Editor for The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones)