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Venezuela: Gral. Manuel Rosendo sends memo to Gral. Raul Baduel

By Gustavo Coronel

July 6, 2004 - On the occasion of the 193rd anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, which decided the victory of the Venezuelan army over the Spanish army in the long independency struggle (1811), General Raul Baduel, the current Venezuelan military strongman, made a speech on the site of the battlefield which produced a reaction from General Manuel Rosendo, a dissident army officer now being persecuted by Chávez's authoritarian regime. General Rosendo's crime is refusing to obey Chavez's direct order to bring out the army to the streets of Caracas on April 11, 2002, to combat the popular protest, which ended in Chavez's brief ousting. What follows is a version of the comments General Rosendo made to the grotesque speech made by General Baduel extolling the Chávez revolution.

In his speech General Baduel denounced a destabilization program against Venezuela, in progress during the last several years and "led by the developed countries" to subvert the government of Hugo Chávez. General Rosendo asked him: "Which are those countries? The only ones, which have destabilized the country, were you, who tried the bloody 1992 coup. In 1999 you won the elections but you started to serve a communist project, you started to be the servants of an underdeveloped Marxist country [Cuba]." Rosendo added: "The Cubans are giving the orders here, under the instructions of Fidel Castro. . . . Irregular forces are operating here and reached the heart of our country. . . . Tell us, Baduel, what are you doing to fight them off?"

Rosendo asks Baduel: "Where were you when the Colombian irregulars reached the capital of Venezuela, stayed there for 46 days training and still your army did not know a thing about it and We, Venezuelans, still do not know what happened?"

Rosendo tells Baduel that the "invasion" by Colombian irregulars was pure theater, something that public opinion and MVR’s dissident Deputy Roger Rondon also say.

Baduel claims that Venezuelans have become instruments of foreign interests.

Rosendo replies: "You are being cynical, General Baduel. You are probably under the influence. The only foreign influences this nation is suffering from are those of Cuba. [Chávez] has given Cuba our soul, our oil and many other benefits. They are getting our oil in exchange for their 'social' contributions. You are bringing Cubans in to solve the simple problems, which you do not know how to solve."

"General Baduel," Rosendo says: "What sad example you are setting! You have stained the sacred field of Carabobo with your dirty words. . . . Carabobo deserved better since it is the battlefield where the remains of our heroes lie, the heroes of our independence, an independence which is today in danger, because of Chávez and people like you."

General Raul Baduel is the military commander who decided to put Hugo Chávez back in power in April 2002. He claims to have had six lives before this one, starting in the 15th century. Listening to him it is difficult to take him seriously.

However, he is the Venezuelan military officer who controls most of the firepower in the armed forces. It is dangerous to laugh at him. General Rosendo is being very courageous by putting him in his place, concerning his sad speech of June 24th.

Rosendo is currently in hiding from Chávez's secret police (DISIP) and military intelligence (DIM).

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