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It's the MILITARY stupid!: the end of delusions about Venezuela

By Pedro Mario Burelli | PMBComments

15.11.05 | Over the last five years, I have been totally skeptical about what came to be naively described as the "constitutional, democratic, electoral and peaceful" solution to Venezuela's crisis. Far from being a coupster (as some #%^&*s at State would have it) I think the facts bear out that I was nothing but a realist. People who govern in the manner Chávez and his band of thugs have chosen to govern, do not surrender power in an election. They do not just hand over the symbols of power to an opposition which would diligently deliver their heads, torsos and butts to a proper, and harsh, justice scheme.

The other reason I have been less than gullible is because I have always stated that this is a military government, not a democratic government. So yes, as James Carville would say – if he understood anything about Latin America – "it's the Military stupid!" Hugo Chávez is, first and foremost, a mediocre, mid-level, military man with no need for negotiation skills. He does not see politics as a game to be won in the bargaining table, but as an epic battle with only two possible outcomes: glorious victory or dishonorable defeat. No grey, no in betweens, no sharing of anything. Hoping to win a political battle with such man is tantamount to beating Kasparov while blindfolded. What's more, Hugo Chávez will cheat at politics even if you are blind, or too dumb, to see his moves. All is fair in the game of war.

At last, this position is being borne not only by a myriad of events in Venezuela, but also by the written word. If you go to this link – militarvenezolano2005 – you will encounter a very revealing document (which I do not think was mean to be public). Under the portentous title: Pensamiento Militar Venezolano. Mr. Chávez and his closest military sycophants spell out in wordy (and rather painful) detail their plan to obliterate any trace of democratic capitalism from Venezuela. Unabashedly declaring the US ("the empire") as the enemy, they go into the gory detail of how the Americans will be utterly defeated after being lured into invading Venezuela. The strategy is pure and simple Iraq-redux; Reservists and Territorial Guards acting like insurgent "ticks" (they actually use the silly term "the war of the ticks") would stop a formidable (yes, "they even have Robot soldiers"), but easy to demoralize, enemy. And if the U.S. does not venture into the "zona de matanza" (killing zone), the revamped reservists and the newly minted guards – now under the direct operational control of Commander-in-Chief Chávez - would go after those Venezuelans – the so called "quinta columnas" – that live "hedonistic" lives under "neoliberal patterns".

The blatant glorification of war and the perverse delight in the prospect of civil confrontation should put an end to any illusion of a "c,d,e and p" solution to Venezuela's systemic crisis and should serve as sufficient notice to the naďve, the apologists and the disinterested. PMB

Note: 1) a translation of the above reference document is being prepared, but for those of you who can tackle both Spanish and military verbosity, I recommend you focus on Chapter V of this criminal Justification for Civil War. 2) For a good definition of "quinta columna" – a classic Spanish civil war term – go to this Op-ed by Marciano a.k.a. Jose Vicente Rangel, eminence grise of this corrupt regime.

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