Accusations of a coup were quick to be put against Juan Guaidó following the seemingly coordinated announcements by the leader of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Guaidó, and the US Government in January 2019. Guido repeatedly called on soldiers and citizens to enforce the constitution and has expressed his opposition to opening dialogue or seeking diplomatic solutions with Maduro, instead supporting protests at all costs until the government falls. It became increasingly clear from Guaidó’s attempted “Project Freedom”, where Guaidó, surrounded by military defectors, openly encouraged an overthrow of the government and asked the people of Venezuela to “take to the streets”, as he attempted to take control of a military airbase in April 2019. Many have speculated from this failed attempt it is clear the intention was to have Guaidó lead a coup or have him arrested as a pretence for an American intervention, making this a fully fledged failed coup.
There are certainly many inherent problems in the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro, but the surprise and seemingly coordinated announcements by Guaidó of the National Assembly and the US Government seem even more suspicious considering Guaidó’s US connections. The relatively little known Guaidó was a member of the Popular Will party with Leopoldo Lopez, a centre right party that advocated for privatising the country's oil industry. Guaidó was US educated, is known to have visited the US in December 2018 a month prior to his announcement that started the presidential crisis, and has a long history of involvement in anti-government protest movements that increasingly led to violence. According to the recent Monitor País study carried out by Venezuelan polling company Hinterlaces, 81% of Venezuelan’s did not know who Juan Guaidó was, so to argue that his announcement is any more democratic than the current government is particularly absurd. Similar polls have shown that 86% of Venezuelans are opposed to foreign military intervention. Venezuelan journalist Diego Sequera commented that "Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles” .
Furthermore the US’ appointment of Elliot Abrams as special envoy for Venezuela, a supporter of various dictators and massacres across Latin America and convicted of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra Scandal, is further evidence of the US' true intentions here. As Nicolas Maduro still has support of the military in the country, both Guaidó and the US should be treading very carefully, seeking diplomacy over violence or aggressive foreign policy. Instead the backing of the defacto leader of the National Assembly as a rouge body that have actively called for the overthrow of the government and spoken out against diplomacy, is arguably an attempted coup plot between Guaidó and the US government, one that is increasingly looking like a failure.