We are now in the midst of 2019 and the coup promoted by the United States against the government of President Nicolás Maduro is deflating.
The Norwegian and Barbados dialogues set the political tone for the coming months in Venezuela, however some actions and declarations have shown that Washington has no intention of lowering the temperature of the tension provided by the threat of war.
Of course, many dollars have been lost in the way of financing the current Venezuelan situation; everything invested into Venezuela to overthrow Maduro cannot be put aside. That is why the head of the Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, has responded, and he even accuses Cuba and Russia of supporting the “Maduro regime” in maintaining executive power.
Faller’s latest statements to the AP agency confirmed that, as for Venezuela, they will not give up on increasingly pressuring against a scenario that does not serve them well in their coup plan which has come to an end. The ghost of the “military option” returns intermittently, a card that is used at the worst moments of deflation of the Venezuelan opposition.
At the end of last year (2018), the hospital warship USNS Comfort ran aground in Colombian territory with the supposed purpose of attending Venezuelan migrants blatantly for propaganda purposes, as part of Donald Trump’s campaign in an imminent electoral context with the 2020 presidential elections.
The Comfort is supposed to offer “humanitarian assistance” throughout the Latin-Caribbean region, especially in those countries directly linked to U.S. interests, in cases of social crisis due to natural or economic effects. The crisis in Venezuela is in the propagandistic circuit of that narrative, with the ship in the center.
With this intention the passage of this hospital ship through the Caribbean and Central America has been sold. Recently, according to Bloomberg, some 150 Venezuelan migrants were treated in Costa Rica. Faller could not let the moment pass, alleging that this is the consequence of a scenario “provoked by Maduro”.
The Comfort will pass through Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, countries close to Venezuela, with the intention of continuing its usual journey with Venezuelan condiments on the front page of digital newspapers. The “humanitarian face” of the operation carries a threat, as the ship represents a wing of the U.S. military sector. And the Southern Command unashamedly pokes its nose into foreign territory.
In addition to the prowlers of the USNS Comfort, there are illegal reconnaissance flights on Venezuelan territory on the high seas by U.S. aviation. The US does not deny this, but rather justifies them in the same way as they justify it against Iran: in order to preserve the global security (of their interests).
Spying is part of all wars; the interception of spies as well. The United States tries to gather as much information as possible from Venezuelan defense and communication systems, while the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) responds to the preservation of that intelligence with the expulsion of the EP-E3 Aries II aircraft.
Their missions have been interrupted by the FANB, they claim that their operations are in international waters and they cannot avoid the embarrassment of being pressured by the latest generation Russian planes, which arrived in Venezuela via strategic cooperation.
Russia is one of the Pentagon’s “existential threats” to U.S. interests, with cutting-edge military technology that put the Department of Defense in a rush to manufacture and develop its weapons and defense systems.
In Venezuela, the S-300 anti-aircraft system (effectively tested in Syria) is installed along with Russian radars, hypersonic missiles and entire Sukhoi pavilions that give the FANB a technical advantage over enemy weapons and ships in the region. Perhaps no army in Latin America and the Caribbean has such a level of Russian military technology.
Would the United States consider a mired scenario in Venezuela if the “military option” were taken?
That is why the illegal incursions of U.S. spy planes cannot be called anything else but provocation.
Demonstration of strength
Craig Faller himself said the Southern Command is currently gathering intelligence and exchanging it with Brazil and Colombia, countries bordering Venezuela, which would supposedly help a “peaceful transition” to Washington-sponsored democracy.
Under the assumption that the United States can sail, fly and raid any territory in the world, especially in its “backyard”, as it is the global police force that provides security for the war effort it promotes, U.S. aviation along with its ships and superb officers attempt to maintain the high temperature and tension in the region in the case of Venezuela.
One way to dissuade this behaviour is by expanding military cooperation between states facing Western hegemony.
The Russia-Venezuela air exercises at the end of 2018 played a very important role on a military and geopolitical level, with the repositioning of Venezuela on the international scene despite consistent efforts led by the United States to isolate it.
Likewise, the Bolivarian Government arrived in China with the arrival of the FANB’s Comprehensive Aerospace Defense Command (CODAI), which is participating in the military games prepared by this year’s Asian giant.
#Enterate Already the @CODAI_FANB team is in Korla, China, ready to compete with the best FFAA in the world in the “Clear Sky” (Air Defense) modality. We will demonstrate, as in previous years, that we are a #FANB with a very high level of preparation. #armygames2019 pic.twitter.com/Uo5RpwJCz3
– Cmdte Codai (@cmdtecodai) July 28, 2019
On the other hand, the arrival of Russian contingents in Venezuela after this year’s blackouts would be yet another deterrent and show of strength among allies. The Kremlin could even offer protective devices against blackouts, in a key infrastructure for the day-to-day running of the country.
In any case, the US military manoeuvres would also seek to provoke the Russians, whose close affiliation with the FANB undermines the US military power.
While military exercises, equipment and games serve as preventive containment before the eyes of others on the geopolitical board, the plan remains the same: to signal that the intervention wolf is coming, regardless of whether the wolf is actually appearing.
It is no coincidence that the United States continues to build the incriminating file against the Chávez government of Venezuela, calling it a Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise and proposing the prosecution of the country’s most important leaders, with President Maduro at the center.
The resurgence of the “military option” has this connotation, with the purpose of politically and mediatically depicting Venezuela within the same paragon as Panama and Grenada in the 1980s. We know how it all ended: in bloodshed.