Venezuela's military historically has been the arbiter of political disputes and some in the opposition are trying to spur its leaders into action to resolve the current impasse. However, Chavez and Maduro have been skillful in winning over the top brass through patronage and powerful government jobs, and there is no outward sign of disgruntlement even at the junior levels.

One unanswered question is whether the military will use heavy force as it did during anti-government unrest in 2014.

Photos: A Bolivarian National Guard aims his weapon in search of anti-government demonstrators after dispersing them from Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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