Venezuela's Maduro looking for emergency escape route?

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
The Venezuelan leader has held on for years in the face of protests, a collapsed economy and international sanctions, via a tight grip on the military and by cracking down on the opposition. But the stress has never been greater. The financial noose is tightening globally, many neighbors and western nations are calling on him to hold elections or step aside, and the opposition has galvanized under Juan Guaido into a more cohesive force.

Maduro has insisted publicly he’s going nowhere and a departure could be several steps away, if it happened at all. He has spoken frequently to denounce what he says are U.S.-led coup efforts against him, and all signs are he is digging in. Still, contingency plans are being drawn up in case he needs to leave Venezuela at short notice.

Any potential safe havens bring risks, both for Maduro and the countries involved. While the U.S. has said he should leave, it may not take too kindly to any nation that gave him sanctuary. And Maduro would want to feel safe from the reach of Venezuelan and international law. Some unsurprising destinations are being discussed, including Cuba, Russia and Turkey.

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