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Maduro's protection in the hands of the Cuban security and intelligence services

Saturday, February 9th 2019 - 09:15 UTC
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Maduro's faith in his own military may continue to wane, but at least for now he has the support of his armed forces, which has really kept him in power. Maduro's faith in his own military may continue to wane, but at least for now he has the support of his armed forces, which has really kept him in power.

Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro is increasingly leaning on the protection and support of his Cuban backers, amid mounting global pressures to leave office, according to several senior U.S. officials. Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, told U.S. senators on Thursday that Havana “owns the security around Maduro and is deeply entrenched in the intelligence service.”

The U.S. and dozens of other nations have recognized Juan Guaido, president of the country's National Assembly, as Venezuela's interim president, saying Maduro is no longer fit to govern. But despite international c alls to step down and protests against his regime over the weekend, Maduro has clung to power, retaining allegiance from Venezuela's military.

But while the military remains on his side, the Pentagon said it's not the embattled president's own forces ensuring his safety -- it's members of Cuba's security service.

“I think it's a good sense for where the loyalty of the Venezuelan people are that his immediate security force is made up of Cubans,” Faller told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Cuba is “inextricably intertwined in all areas of Venezuela,” he said.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the United Nations Security Council, “No regime has done more to sustain the nightmarish condition of the Venezuelan people than the regime in Havana.”

Maduro's faith in his own military may continue to wane, but at least for now he has the support of his armed forces, which has really kept him in power.

“I think Maduro relies on more than just the Cuban people around him to stay in power,” Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said. “The Venezuela military is fragmenting a little bit, but still unified at least at the senior level behind Maduro.”

Cuba has long involved itself in Venezuela, but the relationship became particularly close after Venezuela's former president, Hugo Chavez, came to power two decades ago. “The Cuba-Venezuela relationship is very close and has been this way since Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro embraced each other,” Piccone said, describing it as a son-father relationship.

Havana benefited from subsidized oil from Venezuela that floated Cuba's economy for a long time, he added. In return, Cuba provided social welfare services, including hundreds of doctors, to Venezuela. But the nation also sent its security and intelligence advisers, who have trained and influenced Venezuela's military.

“Russia and Cuba are both complicit in Venezuela's descent into dictatorship, but Cuba is particularly influential in supporting Maduro,” Faller wrote in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Following the Cuban government’s advice and assisted by its intelligence machinery, Maduro is adhering to the autocratic blueprint Cuban leaders have ruthlessly executed for over six decades.”

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  • Chicureo

    Estimado THINK

    If you used a satellite view you could perhaps find my abode with solar panels installed on my roof... If you see a ferocious Dackle chasing a terrified bunny you'll be certain.


    As I first mentioned, I agree that the key objectives are all positive for good governance. Society has a responsibility to serve those who are truly needy. You can take Denmark as a wonderful model of what could be the ideal balance of capitalism and socialism in Europe. I know they pay an outrageous high rate of taxation, but they receive an equatable return.

    The problem is however when you try to implement an impracticable, ideological, irrational and idiotic set of goals that contradict themselves.

    Just transforming a nation carbon free without nuclear energy in a decade is incredibly ambitious. Chileans have aggressively adopted wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy into our power grid, but the majority of our electric power is hydrocarbon based. Zero carbon energy in a sustainable massive scale is currently unobtainable.

    The AOC plan is impossible to finance. The taxation required is far beyond even what the Scandinavians pay.

    Anyway, she's the Wunderwaffe of the Republican Party.

    Feb 10th, 2019 - 11:57 pm +2
  • Chicureo

    Estimado THINK

    Each time I drive from our home to Aconcagua I past the enormous statue where El Libertador of Argentina, Chile and Peru won the monumental battle.

    “El 12 de febrero de 1817, el Ejército de Los Andes a las órdenes del General José de San Martín, libró aquí la batalla de Chacabuco, que condujo a la Independencia de Chile en este lugar, efectivos de la Divisón del Centro, comandados por el Brigadier General Bernardo O'Higgins, derrotaron a los batallones de realistas al mando del Brigadier Rafael Maroto”. (Still, he's sadly rarely taught about in our national curriculum.)

    Regarding our energetic, enthusiastically enlightened and enormously entertaining youthful Socialist I'm beginning to think she may be a cunningly as well as diabolically planted “Manchurian candidate” by wily Republicans.

    Ocasio-Cortez's “Green New Deal” looks like it was surreptitiously drafted by our friends at Hill & Knowlton. A writer from the Wall Street Journal wrote: “If a bunch of GOPers [Republicans] plotted to forge a fake Democratic bill showing how bonkers the party is, they could not have done a better job. It is beautiful.”

    By the way, also I happen to have a single highly compact Teutonic version of your monitoring technology. Although it's operable in interior and exterior environments, it's programmed as well for exclusively fertilizing and irrigating our garden.

    Feb 10th, 2019 - 06:15 pm +1
  • Chicureo


    There's an old saying: “Si los deseos fueran caballos, los mendigos montarían”

    Speaking seriously, it's far beyond obtaining. Quoting directly with factual information from Representative Casio-Cortez linked here:

    At first glance it's objectives seem to be admirably altruistic:

    A job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security
    High-quality education, including higher education and trade schools
    High-quality health care
    Clean air and wate
    Healthy food
    Safe, affordable, adequate housing
    An economic environment free of monopolies
    Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work

    The last point (“unwilling to work”) causes me to not like it, but overall it seems to be an enlightened goal for any governance. However, when you carefully examine in detail what the “Green New Deal” proposes, it really does make me think it was surreptitiously drafted and by a similar it was surreptitiously drafted as a false flag by someone like Hill & Knowlton, to drive public perception away from liberal progressive ideas.

    When you read through the actual proposal, you'll note its objectives for the United States is to be free of carbon emissions within 10 years without the use of nuclear power. It calls for almost every building in the United States to be replaced or retrofitted in green fashion. It calls for universal healthcare, free college education, the goal for replacement of jet travel where possible with high-speed trains, replacement of “every combustion-engine vehicle, government-provided jobs, family and medical leave, vacations, retirement security, and the reduction of cattle. It also calls for total “economic security” for anyone unable or unwilling to work.

    It's the kind of stuff that Hugo Chavez promised his people...

    ESTIMADO Think

    My model joyously chases rabbits autonomously.

    Feb 10th, 2019 - 08:21 pm +1
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