Tuesday, October 15th 2013 - 17:58 UTC

Venezuelan retired officers justify ‘military action’ against Maduro and claim it’s not a coup d’état

A group of 45 Venezuelan retired top officers among which a dozen generals and admirals and a former defence minister have published an open statement in which they accuse the government of President Nicolas Maduro of having broken the country’s “constitutional thread” and thus support a military action which, they say “would not be a coup d’état’.

Former Defence minister Narváez Churión: we are being conducted to a cliff by an individual who exercises power in an illegitimate way, both in origin and performance

The officers accuse the government of Maduro and former president Hugo Chavez of having handed the country over to Cuba and claim that the current leader who took office last April is exercising the Executive office in an ‘illegitimate way’.

“We consider it is convenient to expose to national and international public opinion that a military action directed to recover the constitutional thread, a return to the democratic system of government and defending sovereignty is not a coup d’état and is in conformity to what is established in our constitution, in articles 333 and 350, and in exercise of the functions established in the article 328 of the same constitutional text”, says the text followed by the signatures of the retired military brass.

They insist that according to article 350 “the people of Venezuela, faithful to its republican tradition, to its struggle for independence, peace and freedom, will ignore any regime, legislation or authority which contradicts the democratic values, principles and guarantees or attempts to lessen human rights.

The declaration states that the release is in the framework of “a great national debate” on the legitimacy of a possible intervention of the National Armed Forces to solve the political and social crisis facing the country. They insist that ‘chavism’ is exercising power in an “arbitrary and authoritarian” way and violating the basic principles of any democratic government.

The current government under the influence of Cuba pretends to impose on Venezuelans “conditions of blind obedience and submission so that they can aspire to a minimum sustenance to survive”. In the last fifteen years, they add in the document which was first released in Facebook as ‘Operation Freedom Venezuela’, “we have been witnesses of the most absolute and unimaginable impunity, abuses, lies and larceny” 

“Currently in Venezuela and for months, we are being conducted to a cliff by an individual who exercises power in an illegitimate way, both in origin and performance, above whom hang justified suspicions that he has double nationality (Colombia) and that he is not Venezuelan by birth”. This is in reference to the insistent claims from the opposition that Maduro was born in Colombia.

However this same week the Venezuelan Electoral Court showed Maduro’s Venezuelan birth certificate.

According to the retired officers the current president “has allowed the invasion from the Castro-communist region to continue”; “has handed over the wealth of the country to foreign powers in exchange for him remaining in office”; “ has plunged Venezuela in the worst social, economic and political crisis of its republican history”; “has allowed the country to become in a bridge and deposit are for the narcotics trade and one of the most corrupt countries on earth”.

Finally they claim that the government is trying to finish with the National Armed Forces through massive promotions and the naming of hundreds of generals and admirals “as a way to compensate unconditional support and servility”, without having any command posts and even unprepared for such responsibilties, plus the presence of Cuban officers in the barracks.

The document carries the signature of former Defence minister and General Vicente Luis Narváez Churión; former Defence Secretary and Rear Admiral Efraim Diaz Tarazon; former Commander of the Army and General Carlos Julio Peñaloza as well as former Navy chief, Rear Admiral Jesus Rafael Bertorelli Moreno.

19 comments Feed

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1 Briton (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 06:15 pm Report abuse

A group of 45 ARGENTINIAN retired top officers among which a dozen generals and admirals and a former defence minister accuse the government of CFK, of having broken the country’s “constitutional thread” and thus support a military action which, they say “would not be a coup d’état’.

2 CabezaDura (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 07:27 pm Report abuse
They have invented millions of conspiracies and empty accusations about the US wanting to invade and take over their country for over a decade, but they were very happy give it away to the Cubans under the table
3 Anglotino (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 07:41 pm Report abuse
Oh God I can't stop laughing!

Venezuela's transition to a banana republic is almost complete.
4 redp0ll (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 07:51 pm Report abuse
Ooooh you naughty milicos!!! If you do that we will be expelled from the Mercosur
5 Mr Ed (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 09:03 pm Report abuse
Maduro, heir to Chavez and Allende?

There you go Chileans, you have a choice soon, stay as you are, or become South Venezuela (without the oil) or Western Argentina. The real life examples are there to see.
6 Condorito (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 09:31 pm Report abuse
@ Mr Ed,
We don't have any presidential candidates who would take us remotely close to the Chavez or CFK route.

You will seldom hear me defend Allende, but you really can't put a cheap populist like Chavez in his league. Allende was a proper commie, committed to the cause until the bitter end.
7 Britworker (#) Oct 15th, 2013 - 10:07 pm Report abuse
Hey hey hey
8 Mr Ed (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 06:07 am Report abuse
@6 Condorito I hope that you are right, Bachelet was a model of a 'sensible socialist' last time, but with these musings about changing the Constitution, I do wonder what might happen next time.

Chavez was preferable to Allende, but in Venezuela, they seemed more his way inclined, so he didn't need to be that brutal.
9 Condorito (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 12:09 pm Report abuse
@8 Mr Ed, after the last election the old centre-left coalition fell apart and had to do some soul searching. On top of that Piñera then demonstrated that things could be done better than they had been done.

I think Bachelet felt the need to throw out some juicy promises in order to galvanize a new coalition, i.e. “free education” and “constitutional reform”. Neither of these are bad if done responsibly and I think Bachelet is responsible, especially when compared to Maduro/CFK - I too hope I am right on that.

“in Venezuela, they seemed more his way inclined” - $100 billion / year in oil revenues does a lot of inclining.
10 GeoffWard2 (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 02:19 pm Report abuse
... and so the cracks appear
11 ChrisR (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 03:52 pm Report abuse
So how come Chavez got away with ruling by decree for 18 months?

I suppose he was mates with this bunch whilst Maduro only has his bus mechanic to call on!

Ha, ha, ha.
12 Forgetit86 (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 05:14 pm Report abuse
On British news that won't appear on Mercopress:

- Glenn Greenwald asks: 'Is there a western nation more hostile to basic press freedoms than the UK?' www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/14/nsa-files-live-coverage-of-all-developments-and-reaction#block-525e734ce4b0760efba2ae14

- Study finds that terroristic war led by Britain killed five times as many people as previously estimated:
13 Math (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 06:24 pm Report abuse
Kill the chavistas once and for all.
14 GeoffWard2 (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 07:38 pm Report abuse
Forgetit #12
95% confidence that the true number of excess deaths lies between 48,000 and 751,000—a huge range, even for Social Sciences!

PLOS Medicine 0.006% random household question survey (word of mouth about killings in a war zone over previous 10 years).

Respondents attributed:
20% of household deaths related to war-related violence:
Violent deaths were attributed primarily to coalition forces (35%) and militia (32%). 33% not attributed [for pretty obvious reasons!].
80% of household deaths not attributed to war-related violence.

I could go on.
Just focus on the confidence interval.

PS. I wonder if the US military and their Commander in Chief realise that they were supporting a 'terroristic war led by Britain'.

Come on, Forgetit. I KNOW you can do better than this!
15 ChrisR (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 07:46 pm Report abuse
@ 12 ForgeTit86

You a “girlfriend” of “Glenn or Glenda, whatever” then?

I don’t read crap in the Guardian but I did read the National Geographic article, something you clearly did not or were incapable of reasoned analysis of it.

“Half-million” Iraqis died in the war, new study says, only it wasn’t it was 405,000, which I have to say is a big drop to the now discredited 1.2 million of the London-based Opinion Research Business which claimed ALL these deaths took place in 2007.

To the 405,000 number, and this is the bit that did make me smile at the naivety of the claim, “at least 56,000 deaths” should be added from households that had to flee. Quite HOW they knew this, is laughable “we had Iraqis going to these households asking the people how many had died or had not returned. So even if there was someone there, they would not be biased of course. And this: “the deaths sometimes went back decades”.

There were / are 32.6 million Iraqis, with 405,000 dead (not counting the “household” nonsense or the almost 5,000 US and UK troops that died) or just 1.2% of the population died INCLUDING NATURAL CAUSES.

Now of course ALL the deaths of which there are thousands a year are Muslims killing Muslims. GREAT, at least they are not killing US or UK soldiers or non-believers, just because they are non-believers.

They can kill all of the Muslims in Iraq and the rest of the world as far as I am concerned and the sooner the better.
16 Forgetit86 (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 08:10 pm Report abuse
@Geoff and Hissy Chrissy

“95% confidence that the true number of excess deaths lies between 48,000 and 751,000—a huge range”

But one that strongly suggests a much higher death toll than that favored by Western outlets, that of Iraq Body Count, which has undercounted all casualty categories, specially those attributed to Western violence.

”PLOS Medicine 0.006% random household question survey (word of mouth about killings in a war zone over previous 10 years).”

As the authors themselves say, their method of choice produces estimates that are on the lower end of probability. The true casualty count is likely much higher and there are strong reasons to accept that this is so. Example: the Iraqi Health Ministry finding that 4.5 million Iraqi kids have been orphaned during the Anglo-American occupation. This number isn't consistent with the low-ish 100,000 death toll figure embraced in the West - not even the 461,000 figure account for such a large number of orphaned children. The 1 million figure does, and as some groups in Britain themselves have demonstrated, the study pertaining to it, that of Opinion Research Business, is the best done thus far on this subject. (And no, Chrissy, the 1 million figure doesn't concern the year 2007 only - you're misinformed or lying).

If your intention is to shield the tarnished image of your war mongering home country, choose another path.

The sample size objection won't cut it either. Smaller sample sizes are used in national surveys in countries much bigger than Iraq. In Brazil and the US, for example, whose populations are 7 to 10 times larger than that of Iraq, research institutes often produce surveys of great reliability using as little as 1,000 randomly chosen individuals.

“33% not attributed [for pretty obvious reasons!].”
What would they be? Spell it out. This could well be the result of genuine incertainty, of difficulties to ascertain the responsibility of murders in firing zones when one is not a direct witness.
17 Gonzo22 (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 08:50 pm Report abuse
@15 Your tantrums are funny, always wanting to destroy this and destroy that, throwing bombs here throwing bombs there haha and living in South America hating South America, now that's torture.
18 Condorito (#) Oct 16th, 2013 - 09:33 pm Report abuse
“British news that won't appear on Mercopress”

19 Clyde15 (#) Oct 18th, 2013 - 03:54 pm Report abuse
Press freedom? How about Russia, China, N'Korea, Saudi Arabia
Belarus, Syria, Khazakstan, Zimbabwe, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela not to mention many other African countries.

So the UK caused all the deaths in Iraq ? You seriously believe that ?
How do you explain the daily death toll now that the UK has pulled out. Could it not just be that Shi-ites hate Sunni's, both hate Christians and Jews. The Kurds don't like Iraquis and so on.

So,Britain led the war ? Rewriting history are we to fit in with your xenophobic hatred of the UK. Forgetit.

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