Information operations · Information Warfare · Venezuela

Venezuela Meltdown Update (26)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia deploys 99 troops to Maiquetía via airlift, using a CONDOR and an ancient CLASSIC. While the detachment is evidently about the right size to defend the Russian embassy compound in Caracas in the event of the regime abruptly collapsing (Russia would not want their classified records in the hands of a new Venezuelan government), Muscovy has been playing up the deployment and this is being read as an intentional provocation aimed at the US and its Latin American allies. And, it may well be an intentional effort to bait the US. Either way it is unlikely to change the calculus on the ground in any fundamental way, but may compel the US to increase pressure on the regime.

Another major power blackout, and more should be expected given the dilapidated state of Venezuela’s grid after decades of neglect by the Chavista regime. Bizarre claims by the Chavistas that Pres Guaido was plotting the assassination of Maduro.


Russia Says U.S. Maybe Staging a Coup on Venezuela After Pompeo Tells Them to End Military Aid

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Monday over a phone call to, “cease its unconstructive behavior,” by continuing to aid Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro….03/26/2019 6:29:23AM EST.

Russian Personnel Visit to Caracas Not Linked to US Intervention Threat – Source – Sputnik International

CARACAS, March 25 (Sputnik) – A visit of Russian military personnel to Venezuela is in no way connected to the statements of the United States on potential intervention in Venezuela, a diplomatic source in Caracas told Sputnik on Monday.

Sensing US weakness, Russia doubles down on Maduro’s regime

As with its September 2015 military deployment to save Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Russia has now deployed a military advance force to Venezuela.

Russia is making the US look weak in Venezuela

It’s no secret that President Trump wants illegitimate Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro out. But as the Trump administration pressures Maduro’s regime and continues to back opposition leader Juan Guaido, Russia has successfully positioned itself as a roadblock to Washington-backed regime change.

The U.S. Is Running Low on Options to Force Maduro Out – Defense One

The Trump administration has already deployed visa restrictions, sanctions, and even an embargo on Venezuelan oil. What else is left?

Is Russia Throwing Its Lot in With Maduro?

Russia’s intervention in Syria’s war helped prop up Bashar al Assad’s government. Is it about to try something similar in Venezuela?

U.S. Chides Russia for Military Aid to Venezuela – WSJ

Two Russian planes carrying soldiers recently landed in Caracas in a show of support for Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, drawing a rebuke from Washington on Monday, as the authoritarian leader defied U.S. efforts to oust him.

US Will Not Tolerate ‘Hostile Foreign Meddling’ in Western Hemisphere – Bolton – Sputnik International

Earlier on Monday, the United States said that the deployment by Russia of air force planes and personnel in Venezuela over the weekend was a “reckless escalation of the situation” in the country.

John Bolton on Twitter: “The United States will not tolerate hostile foreign military powers meddling with the Western Hemisphere’s shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law. The Venezuelan military must stand with the people of Venezuela.”

Pompeo Cautions Russia Over Reports Of Military Mission In Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Moscow’s dispatch of military personnel to Venezuela is increasing tensions there and warned that Washington…

Pompeo warns Russia ‘to cease its unconstructive behavior’ in Venezuela – CNN

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday and called on Russia “to cease its unconstructive behavior” in Venezuela, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

Pompeo warns Russia about its military presence in Venezuela – The Washington Post

A senior Russian defense official and about 100 troops landed in Caracas over the weekend, according to reports.

U.S. calls Russia deployment of planes to Venezuela ‘reckless escalation’

The Russian planes and military personnel arrived outside the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Saturday, according to local media reports, two months after the Trump administration disavowed President Nicolas Maduro. Washington has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate

Russian Transport Aircraft Deliver Men And Materiel To Venezuela Direct From Syria – The Drive

The Kremlin’s deployment is the strongest signal yet that it plans to do everything in its power to keep Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in power.

Russian military planes carrying dozens of troops land in Venezuela: Report – YouTube

Fox Business Published on Mar 25, 2019 Center for Security Policy EVP Jim Hanson on a report that two Russian military planes, carrying approximately 100 troops, landed in Venezuela.

Russian Air Force Planes Land in Venezuela Carrying Troops | Newsmax.com

A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday.

Russian air force planes land in Venezuela carrying troops: reports | Reuters

Two Russian air force planes landed at Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to media reports, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.

Russia sends troops to Venezuela in message to Trump administration – Defence Blog

The Russian Defense Ministry send An-124 military transport aircraft, IL-62M jet airliner and more than 100 troops to Caracas, against the backdrop of growing tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. Some source claims that Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces Col. Gen. Vasily Tonkoshkurov have arrived with troops. According to media reports in recent days, General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, arrived in the capital of Venezuela with almost 100 troops. In addition, An-124 brought 35 tonnes of equipment. What arrived in containers is still unknown. Vz.ru reported that the cargo plane arrived in Venezuela from Moscow through Syria. According to farnce24, battered by economic collapse, Venezuela descended into a major political crisis when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in January and asserted that Maduro was no longer the country’s legitimate leader. Maduro’s government, which retains the backing of Russia and China, drew widespread international condemnation after he was re-elected last year in a vote widely regarded as fraudulent. The United States is leading a push for recognition of Guaido, who heads the National Assembly. He is now backed by more than 50 countries. Meanwhile, Maduro enjoys strong support from Russia, which is eager to challenge US interventionism, as well as China, which is concerned over the fate of billions of dollars Beijing has lent to Caracas. The emergence of a large number of the Russian military is the desire of Moscow to show their determination to Trump administration. Moreover, some sources say that a new Russian military base may appear in Venezuela in the near future.

Russia is sending troops and military equipment to Venezuela – VICE News

Moscow is a key ally of the regime of President Nicola Maduro, who has come under increasing pressure from Washington and European states to step down

Capt(N) on Twitter: “I think this is disembarkment. On the footage of landing An-124 these heavy trucks were empty. Photo of the 🇷🇺#RussianAF Antonov An-124 airplane in #Caracas 🇻🇪#Venezuela today, March 23 2019… https://t.co/RHLupSJt5p”

 

Prof. Steve Hanke on Twitter: “More Russian soldiers unload in #Venezuela to help prop up Pres. #Maduro. The Ilyushin IL-62M is used to carry military personnel and frequently flies troops from #Russia to Syria — indeed it stopped in #Syria on its way from Russia to #Caracas.… https://t.co/CR2ZD4alrK”

 

The U.S. is thinking of invading Venezuela. That’s unlikely to lead to democracy. – The Washington Post

U.S. armed intervention has been bad for Latin America.

Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Persists In Face Of International Pressure To Quit : NPR

The U.S. has hit Venezuela’s oil sector and government associates with sanctions and has rallied behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó, yet President Nicolás Maduro persists.

New power outage leaves much of Venezuela in the dark | Fox News

Much of Venezuela remains without electricity as a new power outage spread across the country in what many fear will be a repeat of the chaos almost two weeks ago during the nation’s largest-ever blackout.

Venezuela: New Blackouts Strike Across the Country | Time

The new blackouts appear to affect as many as 16 of Venezuela’s 23 states, according to reports on social media

Venezuela crisis: Fresh power cuts black out Caracas – BBC News

Two major electricity cuts in just a few hours plunge Caracas into darkness.

Venezuela suffers second blackout within a month | News | Al Jazeera

Maduro government blames opposition for power outage that affected half of Venezuela, including Caracas.

Venezuela blames ‘attack’ as another crippling blackout hits

Power went out in much of Caracas and nearly a dozen states in the early afternoon, stirring memories of a week-long outage earlier in the month that was the most severe in the country’s history. Service was restored in many areas within hours on Monday and Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said

Venezuela opposition fears crackdown after Maduro threatens arrests | World news | The Guardian

Embattled president hints that Juan Guaidó and allies are in his sights

Maduro says he dismantled a plan to kill him led by Guaidó

“The diabolical puppet we just dismantled a plan that he personally directed to kill me,” said Nicolás Maduro about Juan Guaidó. The chavista assured that a leader of the Colombian paramilitary organization “Los Rastrojos” was arrested in relation to the case

Russia Lands Two Air Force Planes In Venezuela, Official Says

A Venezuelan official has told the Associated Press that two Russian Air Force planes arrived in Caracas over the weekend as part of military cooperation between the two countries.

Venezuela’s Guaido says Maduro is in his final phase | Reuters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s administration has reached its final stage and there will soon be a change in government, opposition leader Juan Guaido said, adding that his allies have spoken with high-ranking military members about changing sides.

Wife of Venezuelan opposition leader to Maduro: ‘Enough already!’ | Reuters

The wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido had a brief message for President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday, following the arrest of her husband’s chief of staff this week: “Enough already.”

Trump retaliates after Venezuela’s Maduro regime arrests opposition leader’s chief of staff

President Trump imposed sanctions on a Venezuelan bank in retaliation for strongman Nicolas Maduro’s arrest of two aides to his political opponents, the State Department announced Friday.

Venezuelan opposition needs foundations for drawn out conflict | TheHill

Recognize the Venezuelan crisis for what it is: a proxy conflict of a second cold war, between freedom and tyranny.

How Maduro Keeps Power in Venezuela, Even With the Lights Out – The New York Times

A weeklong outage deepened the country’s already crippling economic crisis. Our reporter crossed Caracas to see its impact on residents and how they view embattled President Nicolás Maduro.

Who is Venezuela’s legitimate leader? | Venezuela | Al Jazeera

Eva Golinger and Eli Lake debate the political crisis in Venezuela and the prospects for a US-led military intervention.

America Needs a New Game Plan for Venezuela | The National Interest

Washington should look at options that reduce escalation and don’t include invasion or regime change.

‘No more hope’: fresh blackout leaves half of Venezuela without power | World news | The Guardian

Fourteen of country’s 23 states affected just weeks after the country’s worst power failure in history