Nicolas Maduro was worried. His rival for the Venezuelan presidency, Juan Guaido, had appeared at an airbase in Caracas, flanked by national guardsmen, to declare that a coup was under way. Mr Maduro was on the telephone to Russia, asking his guardians for advice.
For that one heart-stopping moment in April, it appeared that Mr Maduro’s socialist dictatorship might be brought down by Mr Guaido, a charismatic young leader whose rise had been backed by the Trump administration.
Days later, it all looked very different.
It soon became clear that the military would not switch sides, and a strident Mr Maduro promised to punish the instigators of the foiled coup attempt.
The opposition scattered….
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