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Venezuelan Army Exiles Reportedly Abandoned Plan To Enter Country By Force Last Month

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Careful not to discredit their cause in the eyes of a wary international community, US officials and opposition leader Juan Guaido have continued to imply that a military intervention to remove Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro remains an option as the strongman has proven surprisingly resilient in the face of an internationally backed challenge to his rule.

Venezuelan Army Exiles Reportedly Abandoned Plan To Enter Country By Force Last Month

However, many may not realize just how close the situation came to an all-out military conflict late last month, when a skirmish over a US-funded humanitarian aid convoy left at least two Venezuelans dead. As the fighting raged along the Venezuela-Colombia border, a group of 200 exiled soldiers were readying their weapons and preparing to forcefully overpower the Venezuelan national guardsmen and “escort” the caravan of supplies across the border.

According to Bloomberg, which reported the aborted coup attempt on Tuesday, the group backed down at the last minute after Colombian officials – who promised to maintain some semblance of peace during the demonstrations – caught wind of their plan, which had been organized by retired General Cliver Alcala, and quickly shut it down.

But now that Guaido is back in Caracas, with the support of 50 nations who recognize him as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, the situation along the border is looking increasingly parlous. And as BBG pointed out, as the situation drags on, the calls for a military intervention will only grow louder.

Led by retired General Cliver Alcala, who has been living in Colombia, they were going to drive back the Venezuelan national guardsmen blocking the aid on the other side. The plan was stopped by the Colombian government, which learned of it late and feared violent clashes at a highly public event it promised would be peaceful.

Almost no provisions got in that day and hopes that military commanders would abandon Maduro have so far been dashed. Even though Guaido is back in Caracas, recognized by 50 nations as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, the impromptu taking up of arms shows that the push to remove Maduro – hailed by the U.S. as inevitable – is growing increasingly chaotic and risky.

As the standoff drags on, the urge to seek some sort of military solution will only increase. Guaido himself hinted at such an idea in the immediate aftermath of the failed aid mission. His comments got a cool official reception in Washington, Bogota and Brasilia but Senator Marco Rubio, who has helped shape U.S. policy on Venezuela, seemed to cheer them on. President Donald Trump has said all options remain on the table.

Bloomberg based its reporting on interviews with Latin American and US officials. Alcala also acknowledged the plan. Unfortunately for the retired general, while a few dozen Venezuelan national guardsmen defected during the border clashes – which many believed were staged to curry sympathy for Guaido and ratchet up pressure on Maduro – the Socialist leader still commands the loyalty of both the Venezuelan military and government-aligned militias/death squads.

This article is based on interviews with U.S. and Latin American officials and Venezuelan exiles, some of whom asked not to be identified speaking about confidential matters. Alcalá, the retired general, did acknowledge the plan to escort the aid across the border and said he understands why the Colombians wanted to avoid trouble. A Colombian government spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

But in a rare nugget of honesty, reportedly conveyed to BBG by a Latin American official, the US officials charged with managing the crisis – US, Sen. Marco Rubio, National Security Adviser John Bolton and special envoy Elliott Abrams – are just waiting for Maduro to give them a reason to intervene. The plan, as it stands, is to ratchet up economic and political pressure on his regime until Maduro makes a move that would “warrant more aggressive action” (with Guadio back in Caracas, it’s not difficult to imagine what that might be). European and Latin American diplomats have expressed concerns with this approach, because – surprise, surprise – “trust of Trump is low.”

To try and curry favor for an intervention from Venezuela’s neighbors, the US is warning that the country’s refugee crisis, already one of the worst in Latin American history, could accelerate if Maduro remains in power, sending another 1.5 million refugees into Colombia and Brazil, which are already struggling with their own economic troubles.

Should the US opt for an invasion, the prospects of a swift resolution are low: For context, Venezuela is twice the size of Iraq, and it has its own army and militias.

Which means it’s only a matter of time before the conflict in Venezuela blossoms into yet another one of the US’s “forever wars.”

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  • Jaffar al-Majmuni

    All twelve?

  • iosongasingsing

    Another Afghanistan? The jew of the dead, Elliot Abrams, must begin to find the terrorist gangs to be passed as a liberation army, like ISIS in Syria.

  • Pave Way IV

    I’m pretty sure the widely-reported ‘two dead during aid delivery’ was just US-mangled facts to support their agenda. Not calling out SF here – NOBODY in the alt media has even quesitoned the details (Reuters or AFP originally reported, IIRC).

    The victims were two indigenous members of the Pemon people that inhabit southeast Venezuela and northern Brazil. It was reported that they were killed by military or national guard ‘near the border’ and the story suggested the altercation was a result of the US aid attempting to be shipped from Brazili, but this is a pretty blatant distortion of the facts.

    Only one highway into Venezuela from Brazil – the area is pretty remote and sparsely populated. There were a couple of small trucks sent from Brazil on the two-hour drive to the Venezuelan border with aid, but one got a flat and didn’t make it until hours later – after the border was closed. The one that did make it (but denied entry) is pictured below – it’s just a small flatbed truck, not a tractor-trailer. There were crowds of gawkers watching it arrive, but no big protests. The Venezuelan National Guard fired off a few cans of teargas to clear the crowds on the road around the truck, but that’s it – nobody died.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f163dc54a63decd5e6c25b819c4178cb137ca822b5a5d9900964e9a6db2dbfcd.png

    The two Pemon that died were shot about an hour’s drive north of the border in the Venezuelan town of Kumaracupay (Kumarakapay). There was supposedly a protest there blocking a military convoy on it’s way to the border, but the details of that are unclear.

    The little town is on Hwy. 10 – the highway on the Venezuelan side going to the border. But there has been a lot of hostilities in the last year (including people getting shot and kidnappings) between the Pemon from that area and the Venezuelan military. Maduro started cracking down on illegal gold mining in the area (mostly by Pemon) because it was a national park and they were trashing the place. The militiary has been raiding the illegal mining camps, arresting miners and destroying equipment. That is, if the illegal miners hadn’t bribed the military to leave their operaton alone and go raid someone else. The Pemon miners have retaliated by kidnapping soldiers and holding them for swapping with previously arrested miners. The Pemon (and other miners there) insist the gold is ‘the people of Venezuela’s gold’ and they should be able to mine it. Not taking any sides here – this is just the way it’s been in that area.

    So blocking a convoy going to ‘stop the US aid’ (it was actually Brazilian aid), or just another fight in the ongoing crackdown on illegal mining? Who knows – maybe both. Two people ended up dead this time. All I know is the MSM bent over backwards to portray this as ‘Maduro killing people to block aid’ to rile everyone up. Someone (the US) cut the fiber optic telecom cables going to that area of Venezuela that weekend, so the only thing people heard was the US/IMF Guaido version of events.

    The picutre below use to be part of the rain forest in Venezuela that will never grow back – eroded and now permanently contaminated with lead, mercury and other fun heavy metals.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/829f933d8b06b91a7fbe3b8b18428c7e1ed63452a897051993acce4daf6861ed.png

    • BMWA1

      Looks like at least TWENTY loaves of mighty white. WOW, just WOW!

  • BMWA1

    This is hilarious (I hope Eliot Abrams fans will not be offended):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2VV5RPTsNA

    • Pave Way IV

      The few sites reporting on this in English don’t explain the joke about the Fund Nurlan Baidilda other than to say it’s a real fund owned by a Russian citizen. That’s confusing and ruins the comical effect intended by these guys. Reguardless of whether the fund exists or not, the funny part is suppose to be Maduro ‘hiding’ his millions in a fund run by a goofy Kazakhstani that Russians make fun of.

      From what I can make out on Google translate (some Russian help here please) Nurlan Baidilda is some kind of Kazakhstani scammer, now in Russia, that sells overpriced seminars that teach his get rich quick scheme. It involves bidding on obscure Russian government tenders with few or no other bidders for junk that can be sourced cheap from China. If you win the bid, you buy the stuff on margin (loan – from Baidilda?) and make millions of rubles for your effort. I’m assuming Nurlan Baidilda is somewhat well known inside Russia – TV commercials maybe – and is kind of a joke, so Maduro ‘hiding’ assets in Fund Baidilda would be funny ot Russians. Did I get this right?

  • TomWonacott

    Should the US opt for an invasion, the prospects of a swift resolution are low

    Full stop! That has a zero chance of realization. The US may arm the oppositon if a civil war ensues, but the US is NOT going to imvade Venezuela! Quit saying ridiculous things.

  • zman

    Gotta love Zerohedge. They continuously stick little jabs in their articles that align with Zionist propaganda. Like ‘government aligned death squads’, expressed as undeniable fact. Columbia is next door, they have the US SF death squads.

  • Xoli Xoli

    China must also send humanitarian aid .