Polls say 75 percent of Venezuelans want Maduro gone, but about 20 percent support him. That's actually a higher percentage of support currently received by leaders in Brazil, Chile and Colombia. More importantly, Maduro maintains a tight grip on almost every branch of government and institution, though support within his ruling socialist party is fraying.

The opposition is divided by some big egos and has had a tough time connecting with poor people who still revere the late Hugo Chavez. Both hardcore and moderate opposition members want to keep up street protests and push for new general elections.