Military Assault Raises Alert in Venezuela

Marco Teruggi

An armed group assaulted a military facility in the south of Venezuela, in the state of Bolivar, bordering Brazil. The action that took place on Sunday morning was broadcast on social networks during the morning and confirmed by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López in the afternoon.

The minister attributed the event to “extremist sectors of the opposition” who, during the attack, stole a batch of weapons that was later recovered when six of the assailants were arrested. “At this moment, the detainees are providing information of criminal interest and the Bolivarian National Armed Force and other state security agencies are activated in pursuit of the terrorists.

Jorge Rodríguez, Minister of Communication, announced that the “criminals were trained in identified paramilitary camps in Colombia with the artful collaboration of the government of Jair Bolsonaro”. One member of the Bolivarian army was killed in the attack.

These criminals were trained in fully identified paramilitary camps in Colombia, and received the artful collaboration of Governor Jair Bolsonaro

The Territorial Defense System responded immediately, repelled the attack, and effectively captured 6 of the criminal assailants and recovered the stolen weapons and supplies

The operation carried out in the south of the country is part of a repertoire of similar actions that sectors of the right have carried out in recent years. One similar case was the assault on Fort Paramacay, in the early morning of Sunday, August 6, 2017, where a portion of the weapons reserve was also taken.

We denounce that the group of mercenaries that has tried to generate violence and that today assaulted the military unit in Gran Sabana, has its base of operations in Peru. The Peruvian authorities are at least complicit in allowing these terrorists to organize with impunity.

From Peru they enter through Colombia and also receive support in Brazil. It is a coup strategy of triangulation of governments of the Lima Cartel to produce violence, death and political destabilization in Venezuela. We denounce these governments to the world. They will not pass!

The incident on December 22 occurred a week after Rodríguez reported having captured members of a group that were planning to assault two barracks in the state of Sucre, in the eastern part of the country, on December 15. President Nicolás Maduro attributed intellectual responsibility for the attempt to Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López.

What happened was both surprising and expected in a scenario where some of the actions aimed at overthrowing the government of Nicolás Maduro were carried out through military operations. This is a strategy publicly claimed by sectors of the right, such as leader María Corina Machado.

The assault in the state of Bolivar, an area of great conflict due to its mining activity, comes at the end of December, when the right-wing disputes intensify in view of the fact that on January 5 the new president of the National Assembly (NA) will take office, and the United States and its allies will recognize this person as the president in charge.

This is a central development both within Venezuela and internationally: if Guaidó is not elected, the US risks not having a president of the NA in line with its strategy.

This possibility of a reversal could be linked to a legislative election in 2020, where the right wing, divided – an important sector would not participate – could give rise to a majority in the NA composed of Chavismo and a sector of the opposition that has opposed both the economic blockade and the call for violent action, whether national or international.

These are defining days that could transform the map of the correlation of forces. Venezuela is coming to the end of the year with Chavismo in government, something that many analysts and politicians said would not happen. The possibility of retreat by some sectors of the right and the United States may prompt actions such as those of Sunday morning.

Translation by Internationalist 360°