By Luis Manuel Aguana
Social networks are scandalized by the issue of foreign military intervention in Venezuela. Opinions range from denial (there will never be a foreign military intervention in Venezuela) to the substantiation of the inconvenience for the country of such intervention because it would aggravate our already compromised situation.
Most of the arguments against foreign military intervention in the country, and especially in the United States, have a high ideological component. In a continent that has a century rejecting “imperialism”, it is not at all easy to assimilate such a proposal culturally. And much less accept willingly that the restitution of normality in the country necessarily passes through the application of the force of arms to the service of democracy in order to oppose the force imposed by the regime to subject Venezuelans to a dictatorship.
The first thing we should consider here is where we are today in Venezuela. In a last note (see Military intervention or rescue in an undeclared war, in https://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_45.html) I highlighted a report published by Adam Isaac, an expert in security and defence (see Adam Isaac, “Thinking about the unthinkable: US Military Intervention in Venezuela” https://adamisacson.com/thinking-about-the-unthinkable-u-s-military-intervention-in-venezuela/) which is what’s here now: “…Look at the “Bolivarian militias” alone. They have between 500,000 and 2 million members. Many are poorly trained, and probably undisciplined. Still, if even 10 percent of the low estimate opt for clandestine warfare, that’s 50,000 fighters from this force alone. At its height, Colombia’s FARC had half that. And again, add to them the armed thugs in the “colectivos,” the FAES and other police units, the SEBIN, the FPL, the ELN, and any other radical elements who opt for violence….”.
In a very interesting interview by Venezuelan journalist Idania Chirinos to Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Free and Secure Society, in NTN24, and published on March 26 (see in Spanish Why does a war in Venezuela benefit Russia and Iran? https://youtu.be/BgP0RGjK54I) the expert reveals little-known data from this world of military intelligence that changes the commonplace that is usually argued in this discussion of whether or not a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela is possible.
In response to the point made by journalist Chirinos, “The Russians would be training the militias that in Venezuela are going to surpass the number of the Armed Force’s own assets”, Humire answers something extremely critical:
“That’s very important because what we see in Venezuela as a democratic country many times is that we try to use our democratic system to look at the country. We look at the President, Vice President, Ministers, but I assure you that it doesn’t work that way. There is a parallel state that is made up of the criminal paramilitary civic structure and that controls territories more than it controls functions, and within that we have to understand that the Russians are getting stronger. And why are they going to do this? Suppose all the military are going to support the constitutional president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. What’s going to happen there? Those soldiers are going to confront the irregular forces that are better equipped, better trained, and already proven in combat. I assure you that the Venezuelan Armed Forces are not trained for combat. I was a U.S. soldier and I assure you that it is not that day by night I put on my uniform and I go to Iraq to grab a rifle and start fighting. There are tests that I have to pass to be approved and ready for combat operations. The Venezuelan military was not maintained that way for long. And if we can appreciate that institutions like PDVSA is an energy institution that doesn’t work because it was neglected and involved in organized crime, we must appreciate that the military institution also has that same weakness that is not ready for a kind of confrontation with these forces that have experience.
It follows that according to this expert, there is no military capacity in Venezuela to confront WHAT ALREADY EXISTS as a consequence of the deepening, not only of the socialist regime of Hugo Chávez, and now of Nicolás Maduro Moros, but of the entire communist strategy of appropriation of power in the whole region through insurgency and the force of arms, with the help of countries such as Russia, China, Cuba, Turkey and Iran. Those are the facts. We are already in the hands of that parallel state of which Humire speaks “which is made up of the criminal paramilitary civic structure and that controls territories more than it controls functions. And the realistic state decision that must be taken as Venezuelans is how we will resolve that with the least number of deaths possible.
Already an international specialist like Joseph Humire is telling us that these countries would benefit from a scenario of war in Venezuela:
“There are two factors that are driving this war on the part of the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks. One is the economic factor. These countries don’t have much more life. Their regimes are weak on the economic factor. Iran has hyperinflation, Russia has hyperinflation, the price of oil has gone down too much and they are oil-producing countries. We all know that impact in Venezuela but Venezuela is a proxy for them, so what they want to do is take advantage of this moment to be able to promote a war to take the resources out of Venezuela and use them to stabilize their currencies…”. “They are taking advantage of this situation to improve their own economies because they are not free market economies, they are war economies. What is Russia’s first export more than oil? Weapons. This is one reason. The other reason is that I believe they see an opportunity with the Trump administration to delegitimize the United States in a way they never could.
But I ask myself: how else can you make an omelet without breaking eggs? How else can such groups be neutralized without the presence of highly trained militaries that only have a power like the United States and others internationally? Will it be possible for the United States and the International Community to put such pressure on those countries to withdraw from Venezuela without firing a shot? I don’t know. That’s not what we saw on the border with Colombia and Brazil on Feb. 23. Everything that has happened indicates that they don’t want to do it, first of all because they have already gone too far. They have control of a country with extraordinary resources and a population subjugated by arms. To affirm that we resolve this with elections or diplomacy, living with the enemy in a sort of transitional government with an authoritarian enclave of the regime – as is the official opposition proposal – without taking into account all this war situation is to live on Fantasy Island. To ignore or not take into account the component of foreign military force in this equation is to deliberately ignore this continental geopolitical scenario.
Looking at things from a realistic perspective, we should already be assimilating what has happened in Venezuela as a fait accompli. There are already more communist militia trained from abroad, and mainly by Russia, to fight in favor of the regime than the Armed Force itself, although all of it pronounces itself in favor of democracy. Let’s see Humire again:
“And Russia is part of the tragedy of Venezuela … “Russia is strengthening Nicolas Maduro not only with its military but unofficially with its contractors. That group that Reuters reported two months ago, the Wagner Group. You have to understand what the Wagner Group is. That group is heavily involved in Syria working together with Hezbollah to train militias to protect Bashar al-Asad and they are experts in clandestine operations. And if some of the Wagner Group arrive in Venezuela, it’s worrying. I’d say it’s more worrisome that these technicians arrive from official Russia.”
The other is who will fight this war that is already here and they brought it to us (seein Spanish, An alien war, in http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2017/02/una-guerra-ajena.html). It is clear to me that it will only be the Venezuelans who will have to face this problem. But will we do it alone and without help, as the opposition leadership stupidly suggests? Impossible. If the regime has Russia and experts in clandestine operations trained in the Middle East, it would be unthinkable not to have in the country Venezuelan military trained to fight that war against the regime’s militia, but formed by the United States and other powers of the Western world.
And that’s the real aid we need now, in addition to humanitarian aid. That is why we urgently need countries to assume the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to Venezuelans as soon as possible to stop the crimes against Human Rights in which the regime has incurred in this work of continental ideological domination through war. That war has already begun against us on the part of the regime. Just seeing how they no longer worry about appeasing the peaceful demonstrations with water and light, using tear gas, but rather sending armed militias to shoot at the people who protest, gives them an idea of how the castro-chavista-madurista revolution is facing the resistance of the Venezuelans.
Who then should decide in relation to a foreign armed force coming to help us? The politicians? The National Assembly? The President in Charge Juan Guaidó? At this point and the level of aggravation of the problem, I believe that it would be up to the Venezuelans to decide that because it is the people who have put the dead of this homicidal tyranny and who will have to pay the consequences, bad or good, of that decision.
Caracas, April 1, 2019