Emboldened By The Recently Failed Juan Guiado Coup Attempt; Moscow Steps Up Support To Venezuela’s Military — Venezuelan Opposition Needs To “Bleed Russia Dry From A Thousand Cuts’
Tyler Druden posted a May 19, 2019 article to his website, ZeroHedge.com, noting that Putin’s Russia “appears unconcerned” about POTUS Trump”s warnings to steer clear of Venezuela; and is boldly and publicly announcing its Maduro support actions ahead of time.” Russia’s official state ‘news’ agency, Tass, announced Friday that “Russia intends to supply Venezuela’s army with more than 16,000 field rations.” And, perhaps other unspecified, clandestine material and support. This news came after “a large Russian arms exporter published a contract related to the re-supply deal,” Mr. Druden wrote.
“This Putin ‘stiff-arm to POTUS Trump, is a clear, public signal that Moscow is playing hardball with respect to Venezuela. Mr. Druden reminds us that last December, “two Russian, strategic, ‘Black-Jack’ bombers briefly flew into the capital city of Caracas; and departed amid White House threats and demands. Russia likely now feels emboldened,” he added, “given the embarrassing Juan Guaido opposition-led failed coup attempt launched; but, just a quickly fizzled out last month/April.”
The Guiado coup attempt had the full backing of the White House; and its embarrassing, swift failure demonstrated to Putin that Washington lacks the on-the-ground presence or stature needed to push Maduro out. Either that, or Russia made an offer to Maduro he couldn’t refuse — or perhaps, a little of both.
Venezuela has become a cesspool of Russians, Cubans, and Chinese, among others. And, not surprisingly, Maduro is officially recognized as the leader of Venezuela by: “Russia, China, Cuba, Turkey, Iran, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Mexico, and by left-wing Chavista activists in Venezuela (supporters of the left-wing political ideology of Chavism, based on the ideas, programs and governing style of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Maduro’s predecessor),” Paul Felgenhauer wrote in the May 2, 2019 edition of the Eurasia Daily Monitor.
Mr. Felgenhauer added that “at the end of March 2019, Moscow deployed a force of some 100 military personnel to Venezuela, led by the Chief of Staff of the Russian Land Forces (Sukhoputnye Voyska), Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov (59), a veteran of the 1980s intervention in Afghanistan and the Chechen wars. Until May 2018, Tonkoshkurov was the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The Russian contingent is also assisting in implementing the military hardware Russia had previously sold the Chavismo regime (over $11 billion worth in all) that has been collecting dust during the Venezuelan economic, political and social crisis (Vesti, May 1),” and of course now we have the shipment of 16,000 field rations, and perhaps some clandestine personnel and equipment that won’t be disclosed.
“To date,” Mr. Felgenhaur noted, “Russia has provided Venezuela with modern Su-30MK2V fighters, T-72 tanks, heavy guns, and a variety of missile and anti-aircraft systems, including S-300VM (Antey-2500) long-range interceptors, shorter-range BuK-M2 and S-125 Pechora-2M anti-aircraft missiles, as well as Smerch long-range missiles. Moscow has also provided Caracas with modern shoulder-launched Igla-S anti-aircraft missiles. Russian military analysts believe that with that hardware, Russian advisers and specialists can build a well-organized multi-layer anti-aircraft and missile-defense system in Venezuela that could inflict serious damage on any US-led forces if they “dare to invade to change the regime. Colonel General Tonkoshkurov and his group were apparently sent to Venezuela specifically to organize, build up and lead a comprehensive multi-service defense force ready to inflict heavy casualties and repel the Americans. This may explain why such a high-level, combat-experienced general was sent to lead the mission in Venezuela (RT, May 1),” he wrote.
Add it all up, and one can easily see that Vladimir Putin is making a strategic decision to try and keep Nicolas Maduro in power — to the detriment of the Venezuelan people. My guess is that Putin would ‘trade’ Venezuela for Ukraine; and, I certainly hope that the White House and POTUS Trump don’t even consider this potential offer — if it were to ever be made. The U.S., under then POTUS Bill Clinton, signed a treaty obligating the U.S. to guarantee Ukraine’s territorial integrity — in exchange for giving up their nuclear weapons. How has that worked out for Ukraine? Not so well. Something that hasn’t been lost in translation in Pyongyang.
Moscow’s on-the-ground presence gives it a strategic and tactical advantage, as well as exquisite intelligence; and, this presence was likely a huge reason why Maduro decided not to cede presidential power to Guaido.
Venezuela is in a terrible mess; and, a most unwelcome development. And, Moscow’s heavy presence will prolong the misery that the remaining Venezuelan people (an estimated 2/3 million have fled, a tremendous brain-drain). Under Maduro, only the Venezuelan military and security services are allowed to have weapons. If the U.S., and our allies can smuggle in weapons, material and intelligence assistance to the Venezuelan resistance — the blueprint is there on how to make Moscow pay dearly for its presence and operations there. From the American Revolution, to Ho Chi Minh, to Afghanistan, there is ample evidence on how to make Russia endure an expensive and torturous endeavor. Bleed Russia dry…..from a thousand cuts.’
As Thomas Paine may well have said now in Venezuela: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” RCP, fortunsascorner.com