Friday, November 29, 2019

47 Plots against the Air Force

The Venezuelan Air Force has 22 Sukhoi fighter planes. The planes were on the news yesterday because ruling PSUV leader Freddy Bernal told the Spanish paper ABC that the Sukhoi are capable of bombing Bogotá and returning to Venezuelan bases in three minutes.

“I believe Colombia’s president, Iván Duque, is a poor character, without criteria for government, who has become a mere assistant to Álvaro Uribe Vélez. They [the Colombian government] thought that if they threatened us, we would be intimidated, we would hide. But when we moved 10,000 men and women to the border, when we activated our defense mechanisms, the militia, when we moved our Sukhoi planes, which have the capacity to take off from a base in the city of Barquisimeto [Venezuela], bomb the Nariño Palace [Colombia presidential palace in Bogota], and return to their base in only three minutes, they thought twice, because we want peace, but we are ready for war,” Bernal told ABC.

Also yesterday, Nicolás Maduro told Air Force officers that his government has “detected and dismantled” 47 conspiracies against “Venezuela’s air defense system.”

“My recognition to you [Air Force officers], because the morals of the Bolivarian revolution has defeated all these crazy plots. You should know that we have detected 47 plots, many were directed against the Bolivarian Military Air Force, specifically against the Sukoi system, [the plots] were funded with dollars from Colombia,” said Maduro.

He added that all these conspiracies have been defeated: “One by one we have cancelled and eradicated these plots, but I tell you we must be on a high moral guard in order to defeat this madness and these plots.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bolivia: It’s a US Coup

Vice-president of Venezuela’s ruling party (PSUV) and President of the pro-government National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said yesterday that what has happened in Bolivia is coup d’état orchestrated by the United States. “The government of the United States is not only involved, it is directing the coup d’état against Evo Morales,” said Cabello.

Cabello has therefore called for a national mobilization of Chavista followers to take place on November 16, the same day the opposition has called for mobilizations against Maduro. “The PSUV is on a revolutionary mobilization alert and we are activating all the street, communities, and national leadership mechanisms. Tomorrow [November 12] there will be a great demonstration by our afro-descendant brothers, to which we are now adding the struggle against fascism. […] Every conspiracy form the right must be answered with more revolutions. They know it, that’s why we are waiting for them the 16 [November], we will meet them here.” explained Cabello.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Opposition and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

In previous posts I have been following the trend by part of the opposition denouncing a conspiracy behind National Assembly appointed President Juan Guaidó. These conspiracy claims generally take the form of accusations that Guaidó has been “unwilling” to clearly call for an international intervention in the Venezuelan crisis, and instead has participated in the Norwegian mediated dialogue (now on indefinite hold). According to this sector of the opposition, Guaidó and other main opposition party leaders, are either betting on a smooth cohabitation with Maduro, or have been outright bought by the regime.

Political analyst Juan Manuel Trak (@juanchotrak) aptly summarized the circular and self-fulfilling character of these arguments:

“Fake News manual by @PanAmPost_es and @EmmaRincon
1. Invent a possible scenario
2. Claim that the scenario does not come true because there is a conspiracy by others
3. When the scenario does not come true (self-fulfilled prophecy) claim that you were right the whole time and the conspirators are to blame
4. Repeat the same thing all day long

The Panam Post Juan Manuel Trak is referring to is a Miami based news outlet linked to the sector of the opposition supporting these conspiracy theories about Guaidó and the main opposition parties.

Emmanuel Rincón (@EmmaRincon) recently published a piece in the Panam Post titled “Why It’s Time to Close the Guaido Chapter in Venezuela” stressing the claims that the Venezuela regime is behind the recent unrest in Latin America, and admonishing Guidó for participating in negotiation efforts, calling for the appointment of a new electoral arbiter and for new elections.
Trak was commenting on this Twitter post by Emmanuel Rincón:

“In Venezuela there was no military intervention because Guaido’s envoys sold to the US the theory that Maduro would panicky and flee by only using threats. The North Americans made the mistake of believing this, thus the failure of April 30 and Trump’s mistrust of Bolton.”

Further down a long Twitter thread Rincón claims that the military invasion of Venezuela was considered by Trump, but that he was unwilling to commit US troops to put into power a “soft-Chavista” regime of the opposition led by Guaido and the main parties in the National Assembly, who “are corrupt (and also socialists).” The main evidence for this claim, according to Rincón, is historical: South Vietnam fell, and the Vietnam War was lost at least in part because of the corrupt character of South Vietnam officials. Trump has learned the lessons from that war and will not make the same mistake in the Venezuelan case. “Ultimately,” finishes Rincón his thread, “the US will not move its pieces while a corrupt group, contrary to US ideological interests, holds power. It’s not me saying this, this is not an opinion, this is the weight of history.” By a group holding power Rincón is not referring to Maduro and his government, but to Guaidó and the parties backing him.