Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s constitutionally legitimate president, was attacked as he returned Venezuela on Monday after weeks of foreign travel. Pretender President Nicolas Maduro thus signaled his coming escalation.
Footage of yesterday’s events shows a mob melee between Guaido’s supporters and opponents. At first glance, the incident seems like a simple meeting of diverging passions. But there was a method to this madness — and Maduro is at the center of it.
For a start, the abundance of young, aggressively minded men confronting Guaido indicates that Maduro’s thuggish colectivos were present. At least in confrontations involving senior opposition leaders, the colectivos operate under direct order and authority from Maduro’s regime. And considering explicit U.S. warnings against harming Guaido, Monday’s events must be considered a message from Maduro to President Trump: I am testing you.