Information operations · Information Warfare · Venezuela

Venezuela Meltdown Update (34)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia as always producing conflicting stories, and pouring as much kerosene on the conflagration as they can. No surprises here.

Secretary Pompeo on Twitter: “My message to the Venezuelan people is clear: the United States stands firmly with you in your quest for freedom and democracy. Your bravery and voices will put Venezuela on the path to liberty and prosperity, and we will partner with you every step of the way. #EstamosUnidosVE…”

margaret brennan on Twitter: “.@SecPompeo says there are “Iranians on the ground” in Venezuela as well as “2,300 Cuban security personnel” in addition to Russians supporting Maduro. @FaceTheNation”

Venezuelan FM: Russian military presence could be expanded – ABC News

Venezuela Coup: Were the Russians Behind the Uprising?

CARACAS, Venezuela—“I was there, I saw it with my own eyes. Guaidó was asking the military to let him into La Carlota, and they refused, and then a few minutes afterwards he was making that video claiming he was inside.” I am interviewing a senior law enforcement officer whom we’ll call Simón. He was at the La Carlota military airbase at 4 a.m. on April 30 in an official capacity. He tells me, in a furious staccato, that the morning everyone is talking about—the coup that dared not speak its name, and failed—was more smoke and mirrors than an image of history in the making. “When he [self-declared, U.S.-backed President Juan Guaidó] called for the Venezuelan people to come and join him, Guaidó gave the impression that he had the support of the military and that they had turned, but that wasn’t even almost true,” Simón says. “He tried to win time and turn the tide using public opinion—based on a fundamental untruth.” Simón tells me that the soldiers who were seen behind Guaidó and the SEBIN intelligence service brass, who were said to have turned and joined the opposition, had all been given money and offered an exit from Venezuela in exchange for their participation in the events of April 30. He also confirms what the now exiled Diputado Ismael García had told me two days prior: the big statement outside La Carlota was supposed to take place on May 1, the day of enormous protest that the opposition had called for weeks earlier.

Venezuela crisis: US politician’s claim of Russian nuclear missiles amid military fears | World | News |

A US congressman has stunned the world by claiming that Russia has secretly installed a base for nuclear weapons in Venezuela, amid rising tensions in the socialist country.

Venezuela vows to ‘destroy’ the US if Donald Trump launches military intervention in bid to oust dictator Maduro

War talk by the crisis-hit South American regime — which is backed by Vladimir Putin — raises the spectre of a proxy conflict on the doorstep of the United States

Venezuela crisis: Guaidó ‘considering asking US for military intervention’ – BBC News

Venezuelan opposition leader tells the BBC he is evaluating “all options” to oust Nicolás Maduro.

Pompeo To Tell Lavrov ‘Russians Must Get Out’ Of Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed for Russia to “get out” of Venezuela, while his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, called on Washington to “abandon its irresponsible plans” in the …

Lavrov: Russia ‘Condemns’ What It Calls U.S. Moves To Topple Venezuela’s Maduro

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned what the Kremlin calls the “irresponsible plans” of the United States aimed at toppling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump said Putin isn’t looking to get involved in Venezuela. Two days later, Russia’s and Venezuela’s foreign ministers meet. – The Washington Post

Ahead of his meeting, Lavrov said the United States should halt what he described as its “irresponsible” campaign to overthrow Maduro.

U.S. Devising Diplomatic, Political And Military Options To End Venezuela Crisis : NPR

The options available to the Venezuelan opposition leader include, “diplomatic options, political options” and “ultimately a set of options that would involve use of U.S. military,” Pompeo said.

Venezuela’s Maduro tells armed forces to be ‘ready’ in case of US attack

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the armed forces to be “ready” in the event of a US military offensive against the South American country, in a speech to troops on Saturday. Earlier this week, Guaido tried to incite a military insurrection but it quickly fizzled out as a group

Pompeo: Venezuelan regime doomed – POLITICO

“These things sometimes take time,” the secretary of state said.

Trump should target Maduro mafia to restore democracy in Venezuela | TheHill

It is time to win this modern battle against transnational authoritarianism fueled by rampant corruption.

Venezuelan opposition leader says he overestimated military support for his attempts to overthrow Maduro as family members hold a funeral for 14-year-old boy shot during protests in Caracas | Daily Mail Online

Juan Guaidó told the Washington Post he still needs more soldiers to rally to his cause and revealed he was still hoping for US intervention after the attempt to topple Nicolas Maduro failed.

Venezuela opposition vulnerable following collapse of U.S.-backed plot to bring down Nicolás Maduro – Axios

Collapse of a U.S.-backed plot to bring down Nicolás Maduro leaves the Venezuelan opposition vulnerable.

Venezuelan Soldier Burns “Memo” as Guaido Advocates Bid for Support – YouTube

VOA News Published on May 4, 2019 Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Saturday, May 4, gathered outside a military base in Caracas to deliver a “memo” to troops in a bid for support, days after Guaido called on the armed forces to rise up against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Pentagon’s Shanahan, Dunford cancel overseas travel to plan for Venezuela contingencies

CHANGE OF PLANS: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford canceled plans to preside over a change of command ceremony today in Germany to remain in Washington to plan for military contingencies for Venezuela.

Russia’s Lavrov To Meet Venezuelan Counterpart Over Unrest

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with his counterpart from Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, in Moscow on May 5 to discuss possible steps to help solve the current power struggle that is c…

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing….”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….We discussed Trade, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea, Nuclear Arms Control and even the “Russian Hoax.” Very productive talk!”

Guaidó and advisers were ‘too impatient’ to oust Maduro, says man who led coup against Chávez

Juan Guaid&oacute; and his advisers were &ldquo;perhaps too impatient&rdquo; in their keenness to force out Nicolas Maduro, according to the only man to have ever ousted the Chavista rulers of Venezuela.

Venezuela crisis: As Guaido admits he needs more military support, Trump warns of worse to come – CNN

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido admitted Wednesday that this week’s anti-government protests lacked the support of enough military defectors to topple the country’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Bolton, Shanahan, Pompeo meet at Pentagon to discuss military options in Venezuela | TheHill

Top members of President Trump’s national security team met at the Pentagon on Friday morning to discuss military options for the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, a senior administration official said.

US national security team, military officials meet about Venezuela – CNNPolitics

Members of President Donald Trump’s national security team and military officials met Friday morning at the Pentagon to discuss the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

Shanahan, Pompeo and Bolton Meet on Venezuela |

Shanahan, Pompeo and Bolton Meet on Venezuela

U.S. Mulls Military Options in Venezuela – Foreign Policy

Experts think any U.S. action would be limited.

Defense Department studying military options for Venezuela | Miami Herald

In the aftermath of a faltering opposition uprising in Venezuela, the Trump administration is looking at imposing new individual sanctions against the Maduro government and also scrambling for ideas that can have a greater impact on the ground, including military options.

Acting Pentagon chief Shanahan defends US intelligence on crisis in Venezuela

“I don’t feel like we have an intelligence gap. I think we have very good reporting,” acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters.

US still pondering military options in Venezuela | Fox News

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says he and other senior members of President Donald Trump’s national security team have met with the commander of U.S. Southern Command to discuss Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro ‘would fall by midnight’ if 20,000 Cuban troops left the country, US says – The Sun

NICOLAS Maduro would be toppled by midnight if the thousands of Cuban troops protecting him left Venezuela, the US has said. It is estimated there are between 20-25,000 troops from the communist island in Venezuela guarding the hard-left president, who no longer trusts his own military to protect him.

The US must support the Venezuelan people, never closer to freedom | TheHill

His hold on the military may be slipping, but Maduro still has means of dominating his country.

Opinion | Juan Guaidó’s Uprising Failed. What’s Next for Venezuela? – The New York Times

The armed forces’ continued support for the dictator remains the opposition’s most formidable obstacle for a regime change.

Trump’s “Troika of Tyranny” Meddles in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua

Trump’s real troika of tyranny — Bolton, Pompeo and Abrams — has failed in its coup attempt in Venezuela.

Russia Confirms Lavrov-Pompeo Meeting Next Week Amid Venezuela Tensions

A senior Russian diplomat has confirmed that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo next week in Finland amid simmering tensions between Moscow and Washington …

Top US, Russia Diplomats to Meet Amid Venezuela Crisis

US State Department says Venezuela will be discussed; Pompeo has asked Russia to drop its ‘intervention’ and support for Maduro in Venezuela

Trump team tries to rattle Maduro with military tough talk – POLITICO

Two U.S. officials said the tough talk is designed more to rattle embattled leader Nicol&aacute;s Maduro than to foreshadow an American military effort in Venezuela.

Trump urges caution as Bolton and Pompeo tease a military intervention in Venezuela – CNNPolitics

After US expectations were dashed this week for a transition of power in Venezuela, President Donald Trump is urging caution among senior advisers moving forward and expressing frustration that some aides are more openly teasing military intervention, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Trump, Putin Discuss Venezuela, Other Hotspots in Phone Call

Trump, Putin exchange on Venezuela and other topics came amid escalating tension between the two countries about actions on the ground in Caracas

Trump wants Venezuela’s military to remove its president. But Maduro has made that difficult. – The Washington Post

Will Venezuela’s overlapping forces remain loyal?

How a plot filled with intrigue and betrayal failed to oust Venezuela’s president – The Washington Post

Opposition leaders said their elation turned to a mad scramble on Tuesday as a plan hatched during weeks of secret meetings with top Maduro loyalists abruptly collapsed.

Pentagon plans to send Navy hospital ship to assist Venezuelan refugees – Los Angeles Times

The Pentagon planned Friday to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to help alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as top Trump administration officials convened at the Pentagon to discuss military options for pressuring the country’s president to step down.

Venezuela crisis and how it could affect oil

RBC Capital Markets’ Helima Croft and her team have examined three possible scenarios for Venezuela and oil markets.

Venezuela tests Trump-Bolton relationship | TheHill

President Trump and national security adviser John Bolton’s relationship is being put to the test by the escalating crisis in Venezuela.

Putin laid his traps and ensnared Trump (opinion) – CNN

Sam Vinograd writes Trump’s failure to confront Putin about election meddling signals that the Russian leader can continue this illegal activity at minimal cost. And by undercutting his own team on Russia’s involvement in Venezuela, Trump shows he relies on a shadow cabinet of US enemies to advise him rather than his own national security council.

Venezuelan military helicopter crashes, 7 officers killed | Fox News

Seven Venezuelan military officers have been killed when their helicopter crashed while heading to a state where President Nicolas Maduro appeared alongside troops Saturday.

What Makes a Coup Succeed? Confidence, Consensus and a Sense of Inevitability – The New York Times

Venezuela’s opposition, trying to build a wave of support for removing the country’s president, has made some tactical mistakes.

Venezuelans Deserve to Know Just How Far Donald Trump Will Go To Help Them | Opinion

Will we stand by, as we did in Hungary, or intervene if forces loyal to Maduro begin arresting and executing people en masse?

Why doesn’t Trump remove Code Pink from Venezuela’s embassy?

Title 18, Chapter 7, Section 112-B of the U.S. criminal code makes it a federal offense to interfere with the lawful activities of a foreign diplomatic officer or facility. So why doesn’t the Trump administration direct the Secret Service or Diplomatic Security Service to remove Code Pink protesters from the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C.?