Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Where are we standing right now in Venezuela?

The short answer: we really have no clue.

The long answer is of course a little bit more complicated. Since I want to close this chapter of the alleged captured paramilitary, I will write a brief estimation now and move on to other more interesting topics. At least until real answers come forward.

One fact is now certain: a hundred or so Colombians have found their way to Caracas. This by itself is quite important as it might reflect the vulnerability of the Venezuelan state to all sorts of foreign attacks. Who, and how, brought in these Colombians must be duly investigated. Even if it was a show for political purpose, the fact is that somebody was able to plan such a dangerous show.

This is pretty much all.

Which are the pressing questions that must be answered in the next few days?

Who are these Colombians?

Apparently a couple of dozens of them did serve in the Colombian Army. Only one of them has a criminal track record. The other are just the local variation of Joe Sixpack. According to Colombia. But it should be pointed out that Colombia responded to a list sent by Venezuela and that no actual Colombian security personnel has been brought, yet. In all fairness this question cannot be answered without a shade of doubt as long as Colombian security is not allowed to examine the suspects. Otherwise for all that we know they could be some Venezuelan recruits with a fake list courtesy of the Colombian underworld organizations.

Who brought them to Venezuela?

The government has made a few arrests and has pointed a few fingers at the dissident military, certainly prime suspects. A Venezuelan of Cuban origin is also pointed out because the farm where the arrests were made belonged to him, and because he has an active web presence promoting forms of civil disobedience. Unfortunately there are a few contradictions as some of the military sought might have been in the Chavez camp at some point, such as the one hoarding bulletproof vests. Not to mention that the government might take advantage of the situation to arrest its political enemies for at least a short while. Without forgetting that these arrests warrants do not rule out other military inside the Chavez camp that could be double agents. A lot of work until a real answer comes here

How did they make it to Caracas?

Coming all the way to Caracas from the Colombian border without proper documentation is rather difficult. It seems that to bring in 130 or more Colombian paramilitary would be impossible without some collaboration from the Venezuelan Army. How could the dissident military pull out that feat without some help from their friends inside the regular Army? Did they come one by one? How easy it is to organize such a drop wise travel without having a “ferocious” paramilitary be caught somewhere?

How could they hide for 40 days?

The area neighborhood has reported nothing suspicious. What did these paramilitary do for 40 days? Did they “train” without guns? Where is the evidence of what they were doing for 6 weeks in a place that does not even have running water? And how could they hide so close to the big city where any one of them could have sneaked in and disappear, in particular after a few claustrophobic weeks? Remember that we are talking young and vigorous men here.

All the other questions are just “details”: the alleged targets, who found them, how come only the state News happened to be there, the semi decapitated body found and more.

It is absolutely pointless to ask more questions until some of these are answered. I will come back on this subject only when interesting data appears. Meanwhile I much prefer to talk about the Recall Election and dead soldiers killed at the hand of real Venezuelan Military.

Let me remind the gentle reader of one thing: who cares what the paramilitary will do to the Venezuelan civilian population when the Venezuelan Army is already hurting that very same population that it is supposed to protect? You may read the latest Amnesty International Report if interested.

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