E D I T O R I A L and O P I N I O N

1/3/2013

E D I T O R I A L and O P I N I O N

Hugo Chavez’s Mortality and Cuba’s Deception
By: Jerry Brewer
All of the drama of the status of Venezuela’s terminally ill Hugo Chavez Frias currently in Cuba has carried over into the new year. Whether the reports that include: “he is improving; he is critical; he is in a coma; he is up and walking; on life support or he is dead;” whether true or not- deception is the usual order of the day for the Cuban and Venezuelan governments. Hugo Chavez’s terminal cancer has been described as: an “undisclosed type of pelvic cancer.” Since June 2011 he has undergone four surgeries over the last 18 months. Both countries are led by the grandfather and father of lies; only Fidel Castro apparently is the more lucid of the two; albeit by perhaps a thin margin. Why the veil of secrecy that always surrounds dictatorial and communist regimes when severe leadership changes are imminent? You can be sure that the answer lies between “it is not any of your business;” to “posturing to place security and personnel and weapon infrastructure into the Venezuelan homeland to maintain staunch control.” What evidence of this do we have? Let’s start with what is known and truly not known in terms of those two variables. Recently, Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro stated, “he {Chavez} gave us his approval to keep the people informed always, always with the truth, however harsh it could be." So much for the truth from Maduro or the Castro brothers.

1/3/2013

Information from underground sources in Cuba, Venezuela, and Miami reveal previous and current Cuban strategic, covert, and related nefarious actions on Venezuelan soil. These operational acts are described as a mix of Cuban intelligence (DGI) officers and military officials and deployments. Cuban General Alejandro Ronda reported to be on the ground in Venezuela (although officially listed as retired) is known to be “savage and ruthless.” He served as Head of Cuban Intelligence in Nicaragua with the Sandinistas against the Contras; as well as service in Angola for Castro’s regime. As Head of Special Forces for Cuba in 1986 General Ronda’s command smuggled large amounts of weapons into the harbor of Carrizal Bajo, Chile from Cuban ships offshore. These weapons were for the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front; the armed wing of the Communist Party of Chile (government of Salvador Allende era). These were previous U.S. weapons obtained by Cuba from Vietnam. Ronda’s sinister shenanigans continued in 1989 when he handed over thousands of AK-47s to General Noriega in Panama. In 1991 he was believed to be part of the group that attacked and killed Chilean Senator Jaime Guzman. Chavez had adopted the previous Soviet-styled Cuban intelligence service as his model for Venezuela's security service, while utilizing Cuban intelligence counterparts and advisors as his primary sources on security and intelligence. The deployment of the Cuban Intelligence Service in Venezuela is so deep that its agents enjoy "direct access" to President Chávez, and often provide information not shared with local intelligence services, as indicated by cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas to the State Department, Chávez has tried to indoctrinate the Venezuelan military, bringing in thousands of advisers to replicate Cuban military doctrine, and to deal with security and intelligence issues. Cuban officers are deeply involved in intelligence and security matters in Venezuela, from the acquisition of military equipment to overall military strategy. The number of Cuban intelligence experts working in Venezuela is reported to be around 3,000. Castro’s resource starved revolution has been nurtured generously by Hugo Chavez. The Castro brother’s personal wealth has been estimated as “combined — easily worth $2 billion.” The Chavez Frias family in Venezuela “has amassed wealth on a similar scale since Chavez’s presidency began in 1999.” In 1982 four close aides to Fidel Castro were convicted on drug smuggling charges in the U.S. One of those was Rene Rodriguez-Cruz, a senior official of Cuba’s DGI intelligence services. Another former member of the DGI testified in the Southern District of Florida in 1983 that “Cuban involvement in international drug operations was a multifaceted, methodical campaign aimed at undermining the U.S. and its international stature.” Cuba had been getting approximately $5 billion a year from Venezuela in “oil, cash and kind.” It is further believed that Bolivarian organized crime groups entrenched within Chavez’s administration “have skimmed about $100 billion of the nearly $1 trillion of oil revenues PDVSA Oil has earned since 1999.”

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Beyond the fact that Fidel Castro has served as Hugo Chavez’s mentor and Chavez has carried on Cuba’s Revolution as his own Bolivarian Revolution, the Castro brothers have an ulterior motive for wanting control in Venezuela beyond Chavez’s death, In October 2000 Chávez and Castro signed the Convenio Integral de Cooperación under which Venezuela would send 53,000-barrels per day of oil to Cuba and would receive technical support in the fields of education, health care, sports, and science and technology. In February 2005, Venezuela increased its discounted oil shipments to Cuba to 90,000-barrels per day. Much of this oil obtained from Venezuela is subsidized. According to 2005 estimates, Venezuela was providing Cuba nearly 20,000 (of oil) free of cost, for a total "gift" of $6–8 billion until 2020. Cuba is reportedly re-exporting 40,000 to 50,000 bbl/d of oil because Cuba produces 80,000 bbl/d oil domestically and total oil consumption in Cuba is 120,000 bbl/d. In 2007, the two countries established a joint venture to revamp the Cienfuegos oil refinery in Cuba. Venezuela and Cuba were set to invest approximately $800m to $1bn in primary stage into the program. According to this scheme, 51% share of the plant would be held by Cuba and 49% by Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company. But Cuba’s entrenchment on Venezuelan soil has been much more than financials between Chavez and the Castro brothers. It is true that the Chávez presidency has been one of the most disorganized and corrupt in the history of Venezuelan finances. For the most part, the amount of money coming into the country has been the highest in Venezuelan history, but massive squandering of money resulted in the poor continuing to live in squalor, with unsafe homes, little food, and rolling blackouts of electricity. In 2005 Venezuela's government gave Cuba a contract to modernize its identity-card system. Since then, Cuban officials had been spotted in agencies such as immigration and passport control. In some ministries, such as health and agriculture, Cuban advisers appeared to wield more power than Venezuelan officials. Trade unions, particularly in the oil and construction industries, have complained of ill-treatment by the Cubans. No unions are allowed on Cuban-run building sites; Froilán Barrios of the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers said that “oil and petrochemicals are completely penetrated by Cuban G-2 (intelligence).” The newVenezuelan national police force and the army have both adopted policies inspired by Cuba. Chávez’s public portrayal of Cuban help was “a socialist solidarity” in the struggle against “the {U.S.} empire.” When Chavez was visiting Cuba in 2005 he told Fidel Castro publicly that their two countries were “a single nation” with one flag.” Castro replied, “We are Venecubans.” The Cuban military contingent presently on Venezuelan soil; as silence is deafening on Chavez’s life or death status remains; is a sign that must not be ignored as to Cuban intentions in the region. One must only look at the numbers and their status reported by what are described as Soldiers of Democracy: “2 Generals, 4 Colonels, 8 lieutenants, 6 Junior, 25 officers (frigate captains and colonels); under the command from Havana of the General of Division, Leonardo Adolfo Valdez. Estimated 4,500 men of the infantry- organized into 8 battalions of 500 troops.”
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Whether President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez truly lived into 2013; remains in a coma; or is currently stable; his obituary will show his loyalty to Cuba and Fidel Castro. The Venezuelan people will soon sound off on their thoughts as to continued Cuban influence and control in their homeland.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATES
United States of America
————————— Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates (northern Virginia), a global threat mitigation firm. Website is located at www.cjiausa.org. jbrewer@cjiausa.org TWITTER: cjiausa Media archives: www.scribd.com/jbrewer31 KEY NOTE SPEAKER: http://www.scribd.com/doc/78656606/Jerry-Brewer-Keynote-Speaker-Press

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