Iran, Ukraine, Venezuela: The Business of Sabotage in Multi-factor Warfare

Eder Peña
There are multiple and diverse cases in which sabotage groups have managed to twist situations and scenarios in favor of the interests of the corporations that run the United States and Europe (Photo: Oleksandr Klimenko / Reuters).

Sabotage has been an inherent part of the unconventional warfare that has been orchestrated by the Global North to align countries that do not bow to their supremacist geopolitical conception. These are advanced groups whose mission is to generate chaos and destabilize in order to incubate or intensify social crises.

There are multiple and diverse cases in which these groups have managed to twist situations and scenarios in favor of the interests of the corporations that run the United States and Europe, as well as their satellites in the different continents.


Only last Monday, March 14, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Intelligence (IRGC) declared that it dismantled a network planning to carry out an act of sabotage at the Fordo nuclear plant in southwest Iran, on behalf of the Israeli regime that has been trying for years to perpetrate acts of sabotage at the facility.

It involved an agent of the Zionist entity’s intelligence who acted as a manager of a Hong Kong-based company and tried to approach an employee through one of his neighbors to stop the dialogues in Vienna by paying him in cash or cryptocurrencies to carry out sabotage at the plant.

On the other hand, before and after the beginning of the military operations by the Russian Federation the action of saboteurs linked to the Ukrainian intelligence was noticed to the extent of being a catalyst for the confrontation. Last February 18, the Donbass militias, specifically from the Donetsk People’s Republic, intercepted a commando of citizens who, apparently, were trying to blow up a chemical plant, two of them were neutralized and three others were detained.
In the framework of the Ukrainian army attacks against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics the saboteurs are the advance guard allegedly trained by the United States and NATO, its arm in Europe (Photo: Reuters).

Days before, several car bombs had exploded targeting government officials, all within the framework of heavy artillery shelling in violation of the Minsk Agreements and the evacuation of civilians, these events were triggers for the subsequent military actions directed from Moscow from February 24. A few days after the foiled attack, on February 21, a Russian Army communiqué stated that it had shot down “five saboteurs” who had entered its territory from Ukraine; the events took place near the locality of Mityakinskaya, in the Rostov region.

The Border Department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that a unit of theirs, together with detachments of the Southern Military District, discovered “an unknown group of two infantry vehicles violating the Ukrainian border with Russia”, which was flatly denied by the Ukrainian government.

On the same day in Donetsk another saboteur was killed when a bomb he planted at the entrance to a market near the Donetsk railway station exploded. A bag with a second explosive device was found at the site.

Zaporiyia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the third largest in the world, was in the spotlight on March 4 when some of its facilities were attacked. After having been taken over by 400 Russian military personnel on February 28, and having found “a large quantity of weapons and ammunition, particularly heavy weapons”, as announced by the Russian National Guard, saboteurs from the Ukrainian military establishment fired a projectile which caused a fire in a nearby building, not in one of the reactors, as the Western media reported in the midst of the media siege.

The disinformation campaign was reversed by the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasili Nebenzia, who denounced the fire at the nuclear plant and its real perpetrators. Meanwhile headlines around the world accused Russia of attacking the plant and provoking a catastrophe “up to 10 times bigger than Chernobyl” in total harmony with Kiev’s representatives at the UN who accused the Russian army of “nuclear terrorism”.

A Sputnik Mundo informant revealed that a paramilitary group called “Georgian National Legion”, consisting of about 25 Georgians, are engaged in sabotage and reconnaissance in the Lugansk People’s Republic. They are nationalist volunteers recruited in Georgia who have experience in military operations against Russia and in missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the report the former president of Georgia and former governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa, Mikhail Saakashvili, coordinated the financing of the group from various U.S. funds while Mamulashvili Ushangui, a mercenary with war experience in Georgia, Abkhazia and Chechnya, commands the activities in coordination with Ukrainian troops and secret services.


Many have been the acts of sabotage experienced in Venezuelan territory for more than 10 years, however they had their intense period after the development of the so-called “Operation Guaidó” that sought, unsuccessfully, the change of regime in the Bolivarian Republic through violence and chaos.

Most of these plans had international support before the self-proclamation of the former deputy, however, the narrative of the “interim government” has served U.S. satellite governments to invisibilize their complicity in the development and escalation of aggression.

It is not taken for granted the establishment of mafias within the State, collaborationist networks that schedule and execute plans of attack to neuralgic points that cause unrest and uneasiness in the national collectivity. The objective? Social confrontation and chaos to justify intervention.

Among the most recent events are the computer attacks to the national financial system, which included the Banco de Venezuela, the main banking entity owned by the State and whose operations were out of service for five days. This occurred in the days prior to the monetary reconversion process that took place on October 1 in order to strengthen the development of the digital economy.

President Nicolás Maduro declared that private banking sectors were trying to sabotage the implementation of the digital economy, in order to prevent the access of users to direct payment instruments and thus force the use of foreign currency in cash, tactics with which they managed to disrupt the national economy in coordinated action with the sanctions implemented by the Global North and its satellite countries.

Likewise, there have been recurrent failures in the supply of electricity, drinking water and domestic gas, particularly on dates close to electoral processes, the President denounced that in Venezuela there is an “internal and Colombian guerrilla” in charge of sabotaging public services.

Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez, stated that the deterioration in the country’s public services has been due to the sanctions imposed clarifying that:

“We have shown and we will continue to show every proof of how the criminal blockade has prevented Venezuela from accessing water pumps. In writing they say so we cannot supply them with parts for the electrical mechanism of the water pumping system because of OFAC (the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control) sanctions.”

In March 2019, the power outage affected at least 15 of the 23 states of the national territory, including the capital, reaching two national blackouts. According to the government, the first one was the result of a cybernetic and electromagnetic pulse attack to the automated system regulation control of the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which supplies 80 percent of the country’s electricity. The second blackout was the result of an arson attack in the power generation area..
An electromagnetic attack left almost all of Venezuela without electricity, which added to the sanctions and internal mafias caused countless economic losses but unlocked new levels of resistance in the national population (Photo: Archive).

At that time, the Venezuelan Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, assured that the acts of sabotage to the electric system sought to generate confrontations to justify a foreign intervention.

Deputy William Gil, president of the Administration and Services Commission of the Legislative Power, stated last year that:

“More than 64% of the equipment that is in Venezuela is of German and North American technology, that is to say, totally dependent on imported technology, which are the countries that are blocking us. In cities like Caracas, for example, we have to pump water through pipes up to 1,900 meters of altitude, which requires a great effort in pumps and electric boards”.

The attack on the citizenry is rooted in a weakness of our national infrastructure such as technological dependence and, from this, cascades of problems are produced that impact from food supply to public health.

In 2017, in the midst of the violent escalation (Guarimbas) orchestrated from the U.S. State Department, there were multiple sabotage actions that affected dams in several of the country, this included the extraction of strategic material from the theft of cables and pipelines. More than 40 people died or were burned as a result of explosions, electrocutions or fires of electrical equipment caused in an attempt to cause damage and commotion in the population.

The participation of the U.S. political establishment is clear, already in 2013, when President Nicolás Maduro took office and during the Obama administration, he ordered the expulsion of three U.S. diplomats who had participated in the financing of sabotage groups, “especially active in the state of Bolívar” where the steel sector was facing a long strike of its workers. The President denounced that the anti-Chavista sectors, loyal to Washington, were preparing a plan of “Total Collapse” which consisted of intensifying shortages, inflation, repeated cuts in the electric service and several attempts, always frustrated, of assassination.


The attempt to disarticulate the State and the disappearance of Chavismo at its helm began to advance by leaps and bounds from the moment it became a profitable business, not only for “national” interests, but also for transnational ones. The participation of geopolitical actors, such as neighboring countries and the economic interests in charge of them, began to generate important and even extraordinary damages to the Venezuelan infrastructure.

One of the many examples is the smuggling of goods produced or imported for Venezuela, for which the operators counted on the “tolerance”, if not cooperation, of the Colombian governments of both Juan Manuel Santos and Iván Duque. Also of some nearby Caribbean islands such as Aruba.

A 2017 investigation by the website, analyzes how Venezuela seized tons of smuggled cable as part of “the drain of basic supplies in the country as the economic crisis worsens” and attributes it to “citizens taking desperate measures to earn some extra money”.

In the approach of this media, which is openly anti-Chavista, it has been a series of fortuitous events attributed to a “severe economic crisis, chronic inflation and shortage of supplies” which do not correspond to a surgically structured and highly financed plan.

It refers to the seizure of up to 7.5 tons of copper pipes extracted from Caracas, Aragua and Carabobo, mainly, and the arrest of more than 100 people in several anti-smuggling operations, as well as the capture of a ship that was heading from the coastal state of Falcon to the Caribbean islands.

The “analysis” also describes the prices of metals such as copper, which were around one dollar in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, from where the accelerated devaluation of the bolivar, the Venezuelan official currency, was orchestrated. It is inevitable to highlight the effects of this criminal chain on public services and public and private infrastructure, including schools, health centers, charcoal briquette factories, traffic lights and light poles.

In particular copper, fundamental for telecommunications, was one of the metals most desired by the sabotage networks and their international buyers, the effects can be seen by reviewing the export figures of that metal for those years (2015-2019) by some neighboring countries. In 2016 this metal, together with aluminum, iron, bronze, steel and other ferrous materials, were declared strategic and vital materials for the development of telecommunications services, water, electricity, industry and oil exploitation, with which an attempt was made to regulate its traffic and extraction.

According to the UN COMTRADE database on international trade, Colombia presented a rebound in its copper exports between 2015 and 2019, but after the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, the figures have decreased. Aluminum exports did not stop growing between 2014 and 2019 to make it four times in their net values while iron and steel exports grew between 2016 and 2018.
Aluminum exports from Colombia grew up to four times between 2014 and 2019, years in which extraction smuggling has been fundamental in the siege against Venezuela (Photo: Trading Economics).

However, a neighboring country of Venezuela such as Aruba did show an unusual and extraordinary behavior of its copper and iron-steel exports during the most intense years of internal and external aggression.

Copper exports from Aruba increased 75 times between 2014 and 2015 to then increase 238 times between 2014 and 2016, this year being the one in which the small island reached its maximum, in the following figure the indicated is observed.
Dizzying increase of copper exports from Aruba, an island close to Venezuela to where shipments of strategic materials were intercepted since 2015, when the multiform aggression against Venezuela intensified (Photo: Trading Economics).

Regarding aluminum, the behavior of exports by Aruba is similar, between 2014 and 2016 a steady increase is appreciated but between 2016 and 2017 the value increases six times. Aruba’s iron and steel exports increased 3.8 times between 2015 and 2016, but in 2017 the value was also six times higher.

It seems that Aruba is no longer a reliable extraction channel, because the export figures of metals that are considered strategic in Venezuela have decreased. It could be assumed that some interests have opted for under-reporting or under-reporting of data due to the striking increases that are evident.

Last March 10, Saab reported the dismantling of mafias in Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Corporación Eléctrica Nacional (Corpoelec) and Hidrológica de la Región Capital (Hidrocapital), all of them State companies. He added that so far in 2022, 213,547 kilos of scrap iron, aluminum and copper that have been illegally traded have been seized, the actions have resulted in the apprehension of 439 people (inside and outside the companies), of which 326 have been imprisoned, 96 have received precautionary measures and 17 have been released in full freedom.

The circuits of extraction and smuggling of strategic materials have sophisticated strategies and complex triangulations that are mutating and infiltrating institutions. It is curious that blackouts in regional entities such as Zulia, where the recently elected governor, Manuel Rosales, is anti-Chavez, are no longer news. Until a few months ago, together with the lack of water, they were a cause of profound disruption of daily life.

Certainly, the sanctions and their multiform effects have affected the functioning of many public services, however, the media pressure, disguised as denunciation, exerts a plus of destabilization and collective anguish when it determines at its discretion which problems are important and which are not.

Finally, questions about technological dependence have been raised in different companies of the State and collective answers are being sought to avoid repeating complicated scenarios due to problems that can be solved with audacity and determination. It is up to a class that knows that the war in process was invented to crush it, having this clear helps not to have a purchase price.

Eder Peña