Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared the ongoing protests against President Nicolás Maduro as the “final phase of Operation Freedom,” as CNN reports, flanked by armored vehicles and men in military fatigues. That he chose military symbolism is not insignificant — Guaido has declared his intentions to take over the country by military force if necessary. In other words, he’s planning on carrying out a coup d’état, or simply a coup, for short.
If Guaido and his supporters are successful, Venezuela would be the ninth nation to undergo a successful coup in just the last decade. Here is a list of the other successful coups of the past decade or so.
In 2009, then-president Mamadou Tandja was scheduled to complete his second term at the end of the year but announced his intention to stay in office, despite constitutionally-mandated term limits, saying the people wanted him to remain in power. He then dissolved his country’s legislature and installed his own.
In February 2010, soldiers from a nearby military base stormed into the city, as BBC News reported at the time. Eventually, Tandja was kidnapped and placed in prison and was released months later, after a new government had been installed.
Within a week of the coup, the new government had consolidated its power and life in Niger largely returned to normal. Only 10 people are believed to have died in the coup.
On this day in history, 4 August 2009, Nigeriens went to the polls to vote in a constitutional referendum to extend President Mamadou Tandja's long rule despite an opposition boycott. Tandja won the vote by a landslide. ???????? #WestAfrica #Niger #History pic.twitter.com/XDK7kKFayW
— West African History (@WAfricaHistory) August 4, 2018
Egypt (2011, 2013)
Twice in two years, Egypt was the scene of violent anti-government military action. The first came in 2011, after years of Hosni Mubarak’s brutal dictatorship. Following violent protests with saw nearly a thousand deaths and tens of thousands of injuries, Mubarak resigned, and Islamist Mohamed Morsi took power. Unfortunately, the peace didn’t last, and Morsi was himself overthrown in 2013.
In March 2012, several Malian soldiers mutinied and attacked several locations in the nation’s capital of Bamako, including the presidential palace. Then-president Amadou Toumani Touré was forced into hiding, while the revolutionaries declared themselves the new government. Although coup leader Amadou Sanogo later resigned, as reported at the time by Al Jazeera, the military junta retained power.
In November 2017, military forces seized control of the country’s national broadcasting system. The revolutionaries announced that a “purge” would be taking place of “criminals” associated with then-president Robert Mugabe. Mugabe was placed under house arrest, and with weeks he was forced to resign.
I now accept Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership, Robert Mugabe says – Business Day https://t.co/PgSlkWPLWQ
— Mugabe in the News (@mugabenews) April 29, 2019
Following the devastation to Sudan’s economy during 30 years of president Omar al-Bashir, the country’s military forcibly removed its dictator on April 11. Lieutenant General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf declared himself the head of state, ordered the end of ongoing protests, and dissolved the country’s government.
In 2014, Thailand was the scene of its 12th coup since 1932, when the Royal Thai Armed Forces, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, seized power and put down ongoing anti-government protests. The new military junta replaced the country’s constitution, except for some paragraphs dealing with the relationship between the government and the monarch, and censored internet use and took control of the media.
Over a period of several months between September 2014 and February 2015, a group of Islamists, purportedly preaching peace, according to Al Jazeera, seized control of the government. The Houthis, as they’re called, forced both Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa and President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi out of office.