When everything makes sense: The Southern Command offensive against Venezuela

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By: Mariadela Villanueva / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / April 20, 2016.

The Southern Command, the armed arm of corporations in the region, can’t afford wasting any time. The pressure is increasingly more evident and the distance between the current reality with what they had planned, hampers their narrative, that is, the attempts of their media to hide what in fact is a well-orchestrated plan that now is fully under way.

This is the second phase of the operation called “Venezuela Freedom”, according to the document that the organism Misión Verdad [Mission Truth] has managed to access. It outlines the second phase —because the first one was developed by Tidd’s predecessor, General John Kelly, “was seen in action in the latest events”.

The document is based on the fundamental speech that Kelly gave in front of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, on March 12, 2015, and which was then reviewed. Namely, the intervention focuses on the humanitarian crisis caused by “rampant violence, crime and poverty, inflation, and severe shortages of food, medicine and electricity”.

As we know, the “humanitarian crisis” forecast was the main focus in the MUD’s campaign. In this sense, the chief of the Southern Command pointed out that “the defeat in the elections and the internal breakdown of the populist and anti-US regime is a testimony of the successful impact of the policies that we have promoted with allied forces in the region, in the phase 1 of this operation, amongst the most prominent ones we find:

  1.   Putting in evidence Nicolas Maduro’s nature as authoritarian and violator of human rights.  
  2.    Using the mechanism of the Executive Order as part of a strategy that can justify the development of our policy, with the legal basis of the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
  3.    International isolation and disqualification of the democratic system, given that autonomy and power separation are not being respected.
  4.    Creation of an environment that enables the implementation of the OAS Democratic Charter.
  5.    Put in the international agenda the premise of “humanitarian crisis” what may allow an intervention with the support of multilateral organisms, including the UN.

The document is a proof that there is in fact an openly-declared war. According to Tidd, “in spite of rivalries and disgregation within their ranks, due to different interests and points of view, the MUD and its allies have taken advantage of the circumstances to grow”.

But such “courtesy” in discourse, lets through that this union meant little, given that, in the next sentence to the Admiral says, “our opportune intervention has allowed us to draw a path for a quick way out of the regime. Something that definitely goes beyond the political capacity of the MUD.

“While the peaceful, legal and electoral way is being promoted, there’s a growing conviction that it is necessary to press with street demonstrations,  in order to force military contingents to focus on maintaining internal order and government security. This situation will become untenable as more conflicts and pressures break out”, concludes Tidd in his diagnosis.

This is the basis, and now the new leadership of the Southern Command is now analysing “a set of recommendations for the second phase, effective for a new intervention in Venezuela”.

“Encirclement and suffocation”: Admiral Tidd’s 12 recommendations

The operation is designed to be executed by the Special Operations Component Commands, consisting of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the Joint Task Force Bravo and the Joint Interagency Task Force South (intelligence), “conceived as an broad-spectrum, joint and combined operation within the area of responsibility, prioritizing the strategic concepts of decisive force, power projection, overseas presence and strategic agility”.

The latter concepts were covered in the Doctrine of Full Spectrum Pentagon reflected in the document Joint Vision 2020, prepared by the Policy Direction and Strategic Planning of the US  Army in June 2000 and which is, in itself, the doctrinaire matrix of all manuals and Unconventional Warfare projects developed until today.

In this sense, war against Venezuela is asymmetric, because it applies “diplomatic, informational, military, economic, financial, intelligence and legal resources”.

Gone are the armies of regular troops, tanks, drones and missiles. And way too close are the non-state actors, the militarized human rights according to the agenda of neoliberal globalization, media accomplices, business operators and intermediaries with their respective political lobbying and legal desks.

Unconventional Warfare, planned by the Southern Command, is closer than ever.

In this sense, there are 12 “recommendations” of the new Command management, expressed in “specific actions”. They are the following:

  1. “We have agreed with the MUD on a common agenda, including an abrupt scenario that should combine both street actions and the use of armed violence”. Tidd states that “the referendum or amendment” is promoted as “coverage” while the legitimacy of Articles 333 and 350 of the Constitution is invoked. “But the promotion of conflicts and the generation of different scenarios is a responsibility of the allied forces of the MUD that are involved in the plan, that it is why we are not taking part in an armed intervention in Venezuela, but we are will employ resources so that the opposition can carry out the proper measures to get Maduro out”.
  2. “With an approach of ‘encirclement and suffocation’, we have also agreed with the closest partners of the MUD to use the National Assembly as mechanism to obstruct governance: convene acts and demonstrations, challenge the leaders, deny credits, repeal laws”.
  3. “In the internal political level we have to insist on creating a transitional government and the measures to be taken after the fall of the regime, including the creation of an emergency cabinet that includes business sectors, the church, unions, NGOs, and universities”.
  4. “To reach the terminal phase, a short-term plan has been outlined, with a duration of 6 months, and an estimated finish date by July or August. That phase will consist in the implementation of mechanisms to suffocate and paralyze, preventing the Chavist force from recomposing and re-grouping”. Besides, it proposes to “insist on debilitating Maduro, putting his Communist and Castrist convictions as the main propaganda axis, opposing it to freedom and democracy, to private property and free market, blaming the State and its comptrolling policy as the cause of economic slowdown, inflation and shortage”.
  5. “Maintain the media campaign to foster mistrust and fears that make the situation unmanageable”.
  6. “Therefore, we need to give particular importance to the exploitation of issues such as shortage of water, food and electricity, given that these are sensitive points for the government. And reinforce the idea that the electric crisis was caused by Maduro’s policies”.
  7.  “Emphasizing that Venezuela going through in a Humanitarian Crisis due to lack of food, water and medicines and it’s near collapse and implosion and then, demanding the international community a humanitarian intervention to keep peace and save lives”.
  8. “We must insist on the application of the OAS Democratic Charter as agreed with Luis Almagro Lemes (1)”

“Use the inter-agency coordination of the Intelligence Community and other agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private corporations of communication such as SIP and various private media (TV, press, networks, radio networks)”.

  1. “We can’t put aside the efforts we have done to link Maduro’s government with corruption and money laundering (…) to prove the connection between governments officers under investigation in the Executive Order. In this situation we must develop media campaigns with protected witnesses that are collaboration with the application of the decree of March 9, 2015”.
  2. The document details that they “have won members in institutional sectors as a result of the successful campaign”. There is still a high probability that the Chavista high commands resist, specially in elite units that have historically been aligned with the regime. We must insist on the task of weakening that leadership and annulling their command capacity”.
  3. “A similar interpretation must be done regarding militias and armed collectives. The presence of this fighters in the cities became an obstacle to mobilizations in the streets of our allied forces and opposition groups, therefore we need the operative neutralization in this decisive stage”.
  4. “While the military situation can not be openly unleashed, special forces present here must materialize what has been previously planned for phase 2 of the operation. The training and operational preparations in recent months allowed to coordinate such components to act quickly in a strategic geographical arch, supported by ‘control and monitoring’ military bases with projections on the central region of Venezuela, where political-military power is concentrated”, and then list the military assets ready to operate.


The US sees the military strength of the Venezuelan government as a problem, especially in elite units and which are a strategic target to break the essential trust that civilians have in their armed forces.

“We must adequately assess the government’s power and its social base, which has millions of adherents that can be politically cohesive and expand. Hence our call to work energetically now that conditions are more favorable”.

Harass the Chavist base to the point of paralyzing them through shock, coaction, fear, disenchantment, and the uncontrolled violence, that today is embodied in criminal gangs, which have grown in their operative capacities, something that unthinkable unless they’re connected with the triad drug trafficking-arm trafficking-intelligence services, which nowadays are structurally irregular armies.

And again, it’s clear that Chavismo on the street is the main deterrent, and therefore the priority to resist.

The hunter hunted: final consideration

The sophistication and efficiency of the imperial mechanics and their unconventional instruments of permanent agressions against sovereign nations has been mythified greatly. Political consciousness, the analysis of the historical context, and informed judgement in the face of violence are elements that can stop (despite the great erosion, the total breakdown of Venezuelan nation.

But it was not coincidence that this document has became public and that it was reached and exposed in the public opinion. Not only the hunter hunts: it may also be hunted by its kill.

The document that was here extensively analysed proves that there is actually an open war, that the actors involved are covering each other up, that politicians lie and that they need to push the overthrowing maneuver to move forward before the objective conditions change.

Many difficulties are more understandable now. From here on, it’s up to us.

  1. Luis Leonardo Almagro Lemes (Cerro Chato, Paysandú, 1 de junio de 1963) es un abogado, diplomático y político uruguayo perteneciente al Frente Amplio


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