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ABYA YALA / The CIA's "Hybrid War" against Venezuela
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 05/04/2019
Original: La “Guerra Ibrida” della CIA contro il Venezuela
Translations available: Português/Galego  Français 

The CIA's "Hybrid War" against Venezuela

Achille Lollo

Translated by  John Catalinotto


Although Operation Constitution ended with Juan Guaido's miserable and silent return to Caracas, and the capture of the four commanders of the ragtail Venezuelan Liberation Army (1), currently, in the Tona region, in the Colombian department of Santander, the "antennas" of the CIA and the Colombian officers of the Combined Military Intelligence and Counterintelligence-J2 continue the preparations to set up  a subversive "focus" in the Venezuelan states of Tachira, Zulia, Amazonas and Apure. Their aim is to promote a civil war, which would then involve Colombia and therefore the immediate military intervention of the United States.

Satellite images of Venezzuela the night before (l.) and during the provoked blackout  on 8th of March

Based on this perspective, on March 4, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence returned to the attack, recalling that "President Donald Trump continues firmly convinced of the urgent need to depose the government led by Nicolas Maduro, even with a military solution (2) and without international authorization!"

This scandalous statement was not appreciated even by the lackeys of the Lima Group (3), which again saw dissent from the Brazilian and Argentinean generals and also the disagreement of many Colombian senior officers.

In fact, on February 25, the vice-president of Brazil, General Hamilton Mourão, present at the meeting of the Lima Group, held in the Colombian capital, Bogota, reaffirmed to the amazed Mike Pence the contrary position of the Brazilian military. General Mourão himself had earlier announced support, for the first time on January 23, immediately after the coronation of Juan Guaidò with the title of "Interim President" by Donald Trump.

This later pronouncement undermined the White House's belligerent stance, since General Hamilton Mourão, who at that time held the presidency in the absence of President Jair Bolsonaro, ruled: "Brazil and its armed forces will not meddle in Venezuela's internal politics!"

The position expressed by the Brazilian vice-president, General Mourão, at the meeting of the Lima group, influenced the position of the Argentine generals, who, despite the warlike statements of President Macri, categorically recalled that: "The Argentinean armed forces could only integrate a peacekeeping mission to Venezuela if it were voted for and authorized by the United Nations Assembly!"

In the Colombian capital - where the political climate is increasingly complex due to the economic crisis and the permanent state of instability caused by corruption and drug trafficking - the hugs and handshakes of President Iván Duque Márquez with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence have not convinced the generals of the General Staff, because after the ten-year and tragic experience of "Plan Colombia," no Colombian officer and soldier wants to risk their lives in a difficult "jungle war," especially with Venezuela!

In fact, only the explosion of a destructive civil war, which threatens to damage the oil infrastructure (wells, refineries and ports of embarkation), could convince the U.S. Congress of the need to intervene militarily in Venezuela and thus authorize the generals of the Pentagon to carry out a "surgical attack" against Venezuela.

Such an attack Admiral Craig Faller, head of the Southern Command of the United States Armed Forces (SouthCom), defined as "risky" last October at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Defense, because "... the Bolivarian army is structured horizontally, with about 2,000 generals commanding and controlling the different sectors of territorial defense."

Also, Galen Carpenter, analyst of the conservative "Cato Institute" and specialist in international military issues, in an interview with "BBC News Mundo" underlining the risks recalled that: "Although there may be reasons for internal division, it is certain that most of the Bolivarian army forces will mobilize to repel the invasion."

This argument does not suprise the officers of the FANB. In fact, in 2018, the Venezuelan general Jacinto Pérez Arcay (4), immediately after the decision of the Bolivarian government to replace the dollar with the Chinese yuan in oil sales operations, presented to the General Staff of the FANB and to President Maduro himself, a detailed study on the possible operations of SOUTHCOM, carried out to pave the way for the land invasion of U.S. troops.

Also according to General Jacinto Pérez Arcay and other sources of FANB military intelligence "... the first war operation of SOUTHCOM would be a surgical attack with planes and missiles against the air bases of Palo Negro and Barcelona and against the naval base of Puerto Cabello."

According to the head of the Pentagon, General Jim Mattis, to determine the dissolution of the organization of the Venezuelan army and thus encourage the possible arrival of U.S. marines with the function of pacifying and not fighting, the surgical aerial attack must be carried out on all military objectives of Venezuela without suffering any loss. In fact, for General Mattis, the organic dissolution of the FANB has always been the "sine qua non" condition to complete  the invasion of Venezuela to establish a new government -- quickly and without serious losses. For this reason, the head of the Pentagon has always warned President Donald Trump that "... without this condition the attack could become a tragic adventure"!

This is an argument that General Jim Mattis has repeatedly reiterated to President Donald Trump, reminding him also that without the participation and especially without the logistics of the Brazilian and Colombian armies, the involvement of the "marines" in Venezuela would be extremely risky. According to some analysts, this position was one of the causes for his dismissal from the position of Secretary of Defense by Trump. It should be noted that even the generals H.R. McMaster, John Kelly and Michael Flynn, all hired and then fired by the president, had real quarrels with Donald Trump because of the political and military issues related to the Venezuelan issue.

War in the hands of the CIA

Consequently, Mike Pompeo - the grey eminence of the Trump government - without the binding opinion of the generals, was able to give the CIA absolute responsibility for the planning and implementation of all the subversive operations necessary to cause a deep and destructive crisis in Venezuela, capable of destroying the resilience of Nicolas Maduro's government.

With this in mind and having received the clear support of many "democratic" countries of the European Union, the Trump government has tripled the so-called "fund for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela," which now exceeds $120 million. To these must be added the funds for the "top secret operations" of the CIA in Venezuela, which according to some rumors are estimated at $800 million for the current year alone.

It is on this basis, therefore, that the CIA has been able to strengthen its collaboration with the Brazilian and Colombian secret services and with the Brazilian and Colombian military intelligence sectors, in order to understand what is happening within Venezuela. In fact, for Langley's [CIA headquarters'] analysts it is important to know to what extent the different sectors of the opposition are still credible, what kind of mobilizations they would be able to carry out and whether the conditions and the ability to create an "urban subversive focus" exist in the main cities of Venezuela, at the same time as the paramilitary groups would orchestrate a "rural subversive focus" in the states bordering Colombia.

The division within the opposition after the adventure of Juan Guaidò and the consequent inactivity of the opposing parties has pushed the CIA to resort to the action of cybernetic terrorism, which remains the only element of active conflict of this hybrid war, and which is increasingly isolated from the masses in political terms, including among the middle class.

Unfortunately, in the last 30 days, cybernetic terrorism has caused serious damage to the economy with various sabotage of transmission lines and electricity supply centres. In fact, on March 7, the first national power outage was recorded; it lasted 60 hours, paralysing all computer networks in the country.

This sabotage, however, failed to reduce the confidence of the majority of the population in the government. On the contrary, the "power outage" has caused greater discredit to the Venezuelan opposition parties, especially those who support the need for immediate political change and who use all forms of struggle, including violent ones. For this reason, and to mask the political failure, President Donald Trump and the grey eminence of the neocons (5), Mike Pompeo, reraised the flag of the military solution, stimulating the psychological warfare of the media, hoping to resurrect the opposition.
At this point, the political situation in Venezuela raises three questions: 1) Why do President Donald Trump and the NeoCon group, even though they know that the opposition is practically de-legitimized, insist on urgently and at all costs deposing Nicolas Maduro's government?
 2) Why did Mike Pompeo consider the subversive project formulated by the CIA (progressive economic destruction of Venezuela) to be "interesting"?
3) Why did John Bolton dismiss the opinion of the Pentagon generals, according to whom the development of subversive actions would strengthen Maduro's position and the role of the Bolivarian army, annulling the peacemaking mission of the American "marines" and the possibility of "re-establishing democracy" without incurring casualties?
To answer these questions it is necessary to resort to the analyses of some political scientists, specialized in "geostrategy of the dominant blocks". In particular, those of the Brazilian professor, José Luis Da Costa Fiori (6), who, in August 2018, published an article in which he analyzed the new role of the so-called "Hybrid War", as an integral part of the geostrategic policy of the government of Donald Trump, understood as an extreme attempt to impose U.S. control over all states of the Latin American continent through a war of low intensity.

In fact, for Professor Fiori, the term "Hybrid War" identifies the evolution of the traditional military solution (bombing and invasion by marines) and the historic attempt at a coup d'état, with a "Fourth Generation War" in which the State Department, the CIA and the White House coordinate a simultaneous series of attacks (economic, legal, financial, diplomatic, media, political, psychological, subversive and cybernetic), with the aim of destabilizing the government of Nicolas Maduro, demobilizing the Chavista movement and, above all, tearing apart the Bolivarian armed forces.



The urgency of a 'Hybrid War'

The key element of this "Hybrid War" is the urgency of Donald Trump's imperialist government to set in motion "at all costs" the complex multiplicity of subversive elements of this "low intensity war," where the main objective would be to carry out an apparent spontaneous popular rebellion, capable of absorbing the main branches of the army and the most dynamic workers sectors of the state energy and oil companies.

Therefore, if we consider that the so-called "complex subversive multiplicity" has its time to assert itself in the Venezuelan political-institutional context, it is evident that it cannot be improvised, nor can it be accelerated. The most obvious example was the failure of the "Operation Constitution."
In fact, the government of Donald Trump, after the Bolivarian government succeeded in circumventing most of the financial sanctions, opportunistically played the card of "interim president," hoping that the opposition would be able to achieve a "color revolution", with which to impose a new government totally dependent on the White House and the multinationals.

In reality, the CIA, the State Department and the White House have tried to carry out a second "Operation Maidan"(7) south of the equator.

The failure of this project exacerbates more and more the criticism of the U.S. oil companies linked to Rex Tillerson, a manager of the multinational Chevron, who was also hired and then fired by President Trump. In fact, the discontent of U.S. oil companies is due to the fact that without the 1.3 million barrels of Venezuelan oil, they are now forced to import it from Saudi Arabia at higher prices. Before the sanctions decreed by Trump against PDVSA, all refineries in Texas used Venezuelan oil.

On the other hand, Trump's sanctions did not paralyze PDVSA's production, as OPEC fixed new production quotas with higher prices and China and India immediately signed new purchase contracts with PDVSA, buying all the quantities of oil that were previously destined for the United States through CITGO Petroleum Corporation. It should be noted that PDVSA's new contracts were not signed in dollars but in Yuan, the Chinese currency currently used by Russia, China and India in bilateral trade.

The use of the Yuan, as well as the cryptomoneta created by the Bolivarian government, is, in fact, the real reason for the geo-strategic urgency of the White House in destabilizing the government of Nicolas Maduro, which with this type of trade transactions helps to weaken the power of the dollar in the world financial market.

It is imperative to remember that the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq, as well as the war against Libya broke out when Saddam Hussein and then Gaddafi tried to get out of the dollar area by selling U.S. debt securities to buy gold, silver, diamonds, and then use the euro as a base currency in the sale of oil and gas.

At this point we must not forget that 15 days before the "humanitarian" attack on Libya by NATO planes, the Bank of England appropriated Libya's gold reserve denying President Gaddafi the right to transfer it to the Central Bank of Tripoli. It may be a coincidence, but the Venezuelan government also suffered the same "expropriation" by the Bank of England, when President Maduro requested the repatriation of the gold reserve of Venezuela, deposited in that bank since the seventies!

The last justification for the urgency of the "Hybrid War" concerns the attempt by the USA to interrupt the presence of Chinese and Indian companies in Venezuela. There presence guarantees the Bolivarian state new forms of wealth by exploiting numerous mineral deposits, in particular those of coltan and gold (8), and the realization of large infrastructure projects.

A presence, above all the Chinese one, which the White House considers a danger, since all over Latin America China's companies provide a possible alternative to the rigid rules imposed by the IMF and by the U.S. and European multinationals, as well as presenting enviable technological solutions that break the hegemony of the Wall Street conglomerates.

This context allows us to discover a second coincidence with Nicaragua, when Chinese companies should have started work on the construction of a second channel that will link the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific. In Nicaragua, as in Venezuela, the opposition began to challenge Daniel Ortega's government, wanting at all costs to renounce it in the name of the so-called "democratic change"!

 Resistance and fighting preparation of the FANB

The great geostrategic reform and restructuring of the national defence system that President Hugo Chavez implemented, immediately after the failed coup d'état of 2002, was considered by all the successive administrations in the White House an authentic act of war. The military strengthening of the Venezuelan armed forces, wanted and coordinated by Commander Chavez himself, started a  conflict, which the United States government has accentuated in the last ten years. With the government of Donald Trump, this latent conflict that  then turned into a silent low intensity war.

However, the main reason for the conflict that prompted the Pentagon generals to consider the Bolivarian state "as irrecoverable as the Cuban state" is of a strategic as well as military nature. In fact, the new concepts of territorial defense and the new mechanisms of military organization that President Hugo Chavez introduced into the Venezuelan armed forces, have wiped out with crazy speed the organizational methodologies and theoretical concepts imported from the military academies of the United States.

It should be remembered that in the 1960s, the Venezuelan army was considered the Pentagon's star pupil, presented as the model for all the armies of the South American continent. However, Commander Chavez - following the experience of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) - in addition to the theoretical foundations, modified the entire structure of the defence system. Chavez invested several billion dollars to buy new technologically more advanced weapons and equip all the units, including the departments of the "Milicia," with a system of communications of the latest generation.

The war material produced by Russian companies immediately after the end of the Cold War have exceeded the war efficiency of many military industries of the United States or the countries of the European Union. This is the case with the Sukhoi fighter bombers and especially the S-300VM Air Defence Radar and Missile System, produced by the Russian company Antey-Almaz.

The most important element of the geo-strategic and military reform of Chavez is not only the introduction of new technologically advanced weapons, but, above all, the structuring of the war potential in the new lines of defense drawn in the country. Moreover, the great innovation was the creation of the Air-Space Defence Command (CODAI), which is the operational branch of defence subordinated, in a direct line, to the Operational Strategic Command (CEOFANB), with headquarters in Caracas.

Therefore, with the application of a new conception of territorial defence, understood as a fundamental element of the political alliance of the armed forces with the people, it was indeed easy to transform the ancient army - which was subject to the despotic intentions of the oligarchies - into a genuine popular army, in permanent mobility to defend the sovereignty and legitimacy of the Bolivarian government.

This condition allowed the rapid  intellectual and political growth of the corps of officers and conscripts, promoting the formation of a National Bolivarian Militia, perfectly armed and organized to integrate the system of national territorial defense to the side of the FANB (Bolivarian National Armed Forces).
As in the Cuban FAR and in all the armies that were born to defend a revolutionary perspective, also in the FANB the element that most distinguishes its organization and structure is, without doubt, the political combat preparation. This preparation transforms the soldier and the officer into an active political subject and present in the evolution of the social and economic context of the country. For this reason, all the appeals of the opposition for a mass desertion or for a coup against the Bolivarian government of Nicolas Maduro have failed.
However, the element that most irritated the Pentagon generals was the decision of President Nicolas Maduro to install the S-300VM Air Defence System in all border regions. In this way any attempt of penetration in the Venezuelan airspace by missiles, spy planes or fighter-bombers is immediately detected by the radars, which have an effective reading capacity up to 10.000 meters of height and 300 linear kilometers.

Those who seek to violate Venezuelan airspace without authorization are shot down by the anti-aircraft defense system, which consists of five lines of fire: 1) 20mm and 40mm anti-aircraft guns; 2) MANPADS Igla5 portable missiles with a range of 5.000m.;3) Missiles S-125 PECHORA 2M with range 20.000m; 4) Missiles BUK-2ME with range 25.000m.; 5) Missiles S-300VM with range 30.000m.).

A context that has always been present in the difficult meetings of generals Jim Mattis and John Kelly with Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo on the need to carry out a "surgical bombardment" with which to destroy the strategic objectives of Venezuela. In fact, Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo, having no knowledge of military technology, never understood that with the creation by the Venezuelan CODAI (Command of Integral Aerospace Defense) of an efficient area of aerial exclusion (NOTAM A0 160/19) it was extremely risky to carry out aerial bombing missions. This is because all Venezuelan air space is protected by S-300VM missiles, including maritime air space extending to the islands of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire.

In fact, Venezuelan radars perfectly control air activity more than 100 kilometres from their borders. In particular, the airspaces of the Colombian region of Cucuta and the Brazilian region of Pacaraima, which, according to the subversive plan Operation Constitution, should have been the starting point of the projected U.S. invasion masked by the sending of food.

In practice the president Nicolas Maduro, following the orientation of Hugo Chavez, completed the installation of the batteries of missiles S-300VM in the whole country, protecting all the air space of Venezuela with a genuine umbrella armed with anti-aircraft missiles, guided by powerful Russian radars, able to cancel up to 300 kilometers any type of electronic interference.
At this point, given the impossibility of promoting a popular insurrection, making a coup d'état impracticable and an impeachment against President Nicolas Maduro unworkable, the men of the CIA try to exhaust and delegitimise the Bolivarian government with cybernetic sabotage (9), which is the last chapter of the hybrid war invented by Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump.

1- On February 1, the special units of the Army and SEBIN captured on the José Antònio Paez motorway the first two self-denominated Commanders of the nascent "ELV", the former retired colonels Oswaldo Garcia Palomo and José Acevedo Montonès. The other two "commanders", Antonio José Labichele Barrios and Alberto José Salazar Cabana, were later captured.
2- On February 4, the U.S. President, Donald Trump, in an interview with CNN, reiterated "...the willingness of the White House to depose the "Venezuelan dictator" even with a military solution ...".
3 - The "Lima Group" was formed within the OAS (Organization of American States) to diplomatically isolate the Bolivarian government and support the subversion of the opposition.
4 - Jacinto Péerez Arcay, General, exercises the position of Chief of Staff of the Command of the National Armed Forces.
5-Neocons (New Conservatives) is the group created within the Republican party by Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, who has always supported Donald Trump.
6-José Luis Da Costa Fiori is a Brazilian academic specializing in international political macroeconomics, who was an analyst at the BID (International Development Bank) and then taught for two years (2005/2006) at the University of Cambridge.
7- Operation Maidan, is the code of the subversive project that the CIA and the State Department used to overthrow the government of Ukraine.
8 - The Russian Central Bank was the main global buyer of gold in 2018. Specifically, it sold all the U.S. government bonds it had on its balance sheet, at the same time buying 274.3 tons of gold. In this way, the Russian Federation became the fifth largest gold holder in the world after the United States of America, Germany, France and Italy.
9- On Thursday, March 7, Venezuela was the target of a series of cybernetic attacks on the control system of the El Guri hydroelectric power plant. After the blackout, a new attack was orchestrated against the country, this time in the structures of the oil fringe of the Orinoco, the largest reserve of crude oil on the planet. The Bolivarian government said that this sabotage was carried out with a technology that only the U.S. government owns to generate a power outages across the country.




Courtesy of Tlaxcala
Publication date of original article: 03/04/2019
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Tags: Hybrid warfareAntibolivarian offensiveUS ImperialismCIAVenezuela-USAAbya Yala

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