Venezuela Launches Biggest Ever "Military Exercise" In History: A Preview Of What's Coming

Tyler Durden's picture

Last weekend, during our latest reporting on the whirlwind collapse in Venezuela's economy and society, we reported that as part of Maduro's latest set of emergency decrees as part of which he ordered a 60-day state of emergency due to what he called plots from Venezuela and the United States to subvert him, we also previewed something more troubling: "he hinted that a violent crackdown on enemies, both foreign and domestic, may be imminent when he ordered military exercises for next weekend."

As it turns out it won't be just any exercises, but as Bloomberg writes, "Venezuela is preparing for the biggest military exercises in its history this Saturday after the South American country’s government said it’s on high alert as the opposition pushes for a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro."

Venezuela's national guard

"Venezuela is threatened," Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on state television Thursday. "This is the first time we are carrying out an exercise of this nature in the country. In terms of national reach, it’s going to be in every strategic region." When Maduro announced the exercises last weekend in a rambling press conference on Tuesday, he said U.S. spy planes including an Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry had entered the country’s airspace illegally this month.

Just two corrections to Mr. Lopez' statement: it is not Venezuela that is threatened, it is Maduro's regime, and the source of the threat is not external, it is the people themselves who have had it with the country's devastated economy.

With this military deployment, which is nothing less than a dramatic show of force by the soon to be overthrown Maduro, the most likley outcome is a crackdown by the president on either the opposition or protesters, or both; the only question is whether the army will follow the inevitable order to turn against its own people. A recent interview with a member of the Bolivarian National Guard did not provide much clarity on this most important issue.

Opposition governor Henrique Capriles said a “moment of truth” had arrived for the country’s Armed Forces Tuesday, a day before security forces used tear gas to turn back anti-government protesters in central Caracas. The opposition has pledged further demonstrations across the country to pressure the electoral board, or CNE, to process a petition to activate a recall referendum. They accuse the government of stalling the process to avoid early elections.

We expect demonstrations to resume tomorrow, and to turn violent once the massive military deployment meets with thousands of protesters in the streets.

To some the military's show of force is just that, a distraction which buys the failing regime a few more days or weeks of time: "The government is looking to victimize itself to both the international community and its own followers,” Rocio San Miguel, director of Caracas-based, non-profit security researcher Citizens’ Control, said in an interview. “They’re looking for a distraction to buy time, and there’s no better distraction than the military one.

Others, such as PanAmPost's Sabrina Martin, disagree.

She notes that the Venezuelan opposition announced on Wednesday, May 18 that it is marching to the headquarters of the National Electoral Council (CNE) to force the electoral body to ensure the recall referendum process continues against Maduro. In response, some cities around the country have been militarized.

Police surround the opposition march

Caracas decided to close at least 14 subway stations to prevent the mobilization of citizens while hundreds of police and soldiers closed entrances to Plaza Venezuela, the gathering place for the march.

People on Twitter reported strong traffic congestion on the main avenues of the city. Motorized National Police were also on patrol, and there were several military tanks stationed on corners. Similarly, all access to the Central University of Venezuela was blocked with a strong National Guard presence.

Guarenas, the scene of looting and large protests earlier in the week, also woke up to a military and police presence on the streets. CNE headquarters were surrounded by security officials in western Tachira. On Twitter, Venezuelans complained that Valle de la Pascua in the country’s central region was also militarized, just as Maturin was in the east. Martin adds that the governor of Miranda and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles announced, however, that marches toward the offices of the Electoral Council will still happen.

The clip below shows the clashes that took place in Caracas on Thursday in a bit to up the pressure for a recall referendum against Maduro.

Meanwhile, Maduro pled ignorance: during a press conference, President Maduro mocked the international media for questioning cities under military control. “What militarization?” He asked. "Show me."

Tomorrow it is likely that the whole world will see, because when a autocratic regime takes away everything from its people including hope, the only outcome is a change in government, achieved either by peaceful means or otherwise.

For those who need a reminder of just how much Maduro's socialist paradise has taken away from the people it is supposed to represent, here is a stark reminder:

  • Inflation in Venezuela is predicted to reach 700 percent within the year, which would be the world’s highest.
  • According to the Confederation of Venezuela Industry, in the Chavista era, approximately 8,000 businesses have closed.
  • More than 70 percent of Venezuelans believe President Nicolás Maduro should step down.
  • There were 2,138 protests and more than 170 lootings between January and April this year, according to the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict. That’s about 18 per day.
  • Venezuela has one of the highest murder rates in the world. There were 28,000 in 2015. That’s 76 violent deaths per day and three per hour.
  • According to an Encovi survey, 87 percent of Venezuelans can’t afford to buy food.
  • According to the National Federation of Farmers, 2015 saw Venezuelans reduce their meat consumption by 42 percent compared to 2012 — the largest drop in 55 years.
  • Ninety percent of citizens said they buy less food due to scarcity.
  • According to polling group Datanalisis, there are shortages of basic food in 80 percent of supermarkets and 40 percent of homes.
  • While Latin America’s infant malnutrition rate hovers around 5 percent, the Bengoa Foundation found that it was near 9 percent in Venezuela as of 2015.
  • Public medical systems have reported that 44 percent of operating rooms are non-functional, and 94 percent of labs do not have sufficient supplies.

The Venezuelan people have no medicine, electricity, food, water or hope. What they do have, and plenty of it, is street crime, homicide and desperation. And, whether faced with a militarized army or not, they will soon have a revolution, because when yet another country is destroyed by a regime that chooses to only look after itself, that is the only possible outcome.

Meanwhile, here is a preview of what one may expect tomorrow.

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wee-weed up's picture

The timing is suspicious might be an understatement.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

They'll be paid with what they take...which will mostly be ass.

ZerOhead's picture

Coming to a police state near you!

greenskeeper carl's picture

I'm sure the people there are happy about this. Waste moar money on military bullshit while you sit there in the heat with no electricity and without the ability to wipe your ass after taking a dump. If you are lucky enough to find enough good to eat to even need to take a dump.

But, those peasants aren't going to oppress themselves. Here's that socialism y'all wanted. FOARWARD!!!

DumpsterFire's picture

Look on the bright side, the 700% inflation and Maduro refusing to print denominations above 100 boliavar will take care of the toilet paper problem.

Kissy Ass's picture

It's time to buy your bugout home in Venezuela.


MisterMousePotato's picture

All you 'Promise-Keepers-American-Troops-Would-Never-Fire-On-Americans' types?

Watch what happens next.

COSMOS's picture

Didnt the FEDS have some military exercises in the USA in the South not too long ago?

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Richard Chesler's picture

A country run by cachifos and armed criminals. what could possibly go wrong?


TheReplacement's picture

That is Oath Keepers.  Most won't shoot Americans unless they are shooting the Americans who are shooting Americans.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Soon you'll be able to buy 10 square blocks for

38BWD22's picture



IMO it all depends on what the Army, Nat'l Guard and the cops do.  They have families too.  But those institutions are corrupted...


Venezuela is worth careful observation, mis amigos.  

If their Army (etc.) fights for THAT corrupt regime, that might be a hint of what may happen here if $hillary wins (or Obama stays for Term Three).

MFL8240's picture

For those of you interested in Bernie Sanders, Venezuela is a Socialsit Country.  Looks like you imagined?

ZerOhead's picture

Bernie is a Globalist Freemason.

As such he works for the globalist bankers who love creating debt and self enriching economic collapse out of thin air!

HelluvaEngineer's picture

He doesn't seem smart enough to be a Mason.  I thought he'd never had a job.

Greendawg's picture

even the Masons have thier fair share of useful idiots.

peddling-fiction's picture

And they kill them off from time to time.

Salvador Allende from Chile was one of them.

But so was Pinochet, the dictator that popped a cap in him in 1973.

gonetogalt's picture

When I worked in Chile in '93 the fellow who ran the company told me that he had wife and two kids at the time. Although he had 'money' in his pocket he couldn't find any food to buy, his family was home hungry.

The army only moved on intelligence that the coming weekend Allende plannsd to permanently suspend the national congress and disband the courts.

The people I moved with thought Pinochet was George Washington. The workers I had under me thought he was the devil. 

The FSA will remain the FSA I guess.

(And Pinochet wasn't a dictator, he was president, congress remained in session.)

As I watch this play out next door in Venezuela, I remember Chile.

Family member visited last night from Surinam, she says their currency has lost 50% vs Gayana/US dollar recently. Bodes poorly for them too, but she's a member of the immigrant community. The current President (Convicted in absentia in the Hague for murdering 15 of the old Gov't and running cocaine) has done the Democrat playbook, Free Shit for immigrants and others, has spent enough to secure his reign. (She admits Surinam was a nice country when she first moved there.)

So they can enjoy their 100% inflation.

shakes head

golden kafir's picture

Wow Pinochet wasn't a dictator, soooo what he didn't stage a coup ? and was democratically elected ? didn't round up musicians artists and intellectuals into stadiums, didn't murder and torture thousands of people and dump their bodies into the sea from the navy torture ships/detention facilities. well you get all sorts here on zh. i guess it depends on your definition of dictator, if it quacks like a duck...

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

I love it when one of you young pups comes about with the Marxist caca you've been fed by your Marxist teachers about "evil General Pinochet". You little asshats didn't live through the infiltration of governments by communists, all you know about is the smiley-faced fascism of the self-styled "socialists" of today and think that, "Hey, it's all good" mentality. You forget, (or were never taught), about who Salvador Allende Gossens was.

So let me set the record straight for you. Allende Gossens was a hard line communist who was attempting to nationalize private enterprise in Chile after the communists in the Chilean Congress named him president because of hung elections. So spare us your prententious attitude about something you know nothing about. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte saved Chile by implementing free market principles, and let no man say different.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

He's a Tribesman and professional politician, so there's that going for him, to qualify as a Freemason.

flaminratzazz's picture

It is always this easy, you can always pay half the people to kill the other half.

buzzsaw99's picture

this is the future everywhere eventually

flaminratzazz's picture

the jack boot stomping on your face forever?

johngaltfla's picture

If the military doesn't remove Maduro soon, it will be a bloodbath.

MFL8240's picture

Remove Maduro, ...Are you serious?  Bloodbath is better than starvinbg to death, either way however, the people put this shit in office and listened to his lies and now pay the price.  Sound familar??

johngaltfla's picture

If the military doesn't switch sides, they are going to endure a 3-5 year "revolution" as they still have numerous drug cartels Maduro betrayed and tens of thousands of citizens who remember the Bolivar Republic which used to be actually capitalist before they allowed the CJPMMSBAC banksters to take over their finances.

This won't be a dull show and will make El Salvador's civil war look like a Saturday night in Chicago.

peddling-fiction's picture

Saturday night in Chicago is probably pretty bad, but I get your point.

Implied Violins's picture

Yes, this is the future of the USSA. And if/when this shit comes to my front door, all I will say is this: I won't care about living any more. Those who do this shit better make peace with what it means to face a cornered animal.

Lies All Lies's picture

"I won't care about living any more."  Yes you will. You'll do anything to stay alive, survive. Sorrry, but that's the way it is. Human nature. Most of us have it, sadly. 

MFL8240's picture

Anyone see any of the people with guns?  Of course not, this is why the US constitution has the seconnd Amendment to protect people against a tyranical goverment.  See how it works when you give up your guns??

Cruel Aid's picture

Was just thinking that. Those swat players would not be so bold if they were dodging laser dots, and they might switch sides if they thought the opposition had a strong hand.

indygo55's picture

All of this from the nation with the largest oil deposits on the planet. 


flaminratzazz's picture

humans=fvking retards

dont ya just lovem?

Cruel Aid's picture

Which brings up Why do we give a shit about the Saudis? All that homosexual hand holding and kissing. Its friggin weird and petro dollar saudi connection? not sure how that is still working.

Yea the Saudis hold a shitload of our fiat, i know.


skinwalker's picture

When I was a kid (early 90's) Dad took the family to Venezuela for vacation. He hated every minute of it, but science has not yet determined whether this was due to him or the fact that even then 'zuela was crappy. 

css1971's picture

War, always and everywhere is the people vs their own leadership.

flaminratzazz's picture

but the clincher is the leadership uses the people to kill the people. When do retard humans quit allowing this and tell the leadership "do it yourself"?


The flawed specie on this planet is undoubtedly homo-sapiens.

COSMOS's picture

Heck in the USA they will kill you on the street for your Sneakers.  You dont thing the fed, state, and local cops wont kill you for the sake of their pensions.

Restorative_Ally's picture

Government exists for its own benefit and acts for its own survival. 

The money spigot is crapped up. Happens when thieving idiots run a country. Venezuela cannot save itself from itself without massive outside assistance. The question is: Who will the next dictator suckle up to? I'm not sure China and Russia are interested. The US might be, in exchange for the ability to strip mine the entire country and rape it of all it has. Maybe the best policy is to just let it fail and live within your means, Venezuela. 

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Who with a plastic shield is going to stand down wind of this.
This is just fruit, wait untill they get some wiskey and noise in them.

Joebloinvestor's picture

A coup masquerading as a military exercise.

The joke will be on Maduro.

Like Sadat reviewing the troops.

Lost in translation's picture

"whether faced with a militarized army or not..."

Does anyone here know of any army, anywhere, that is not "militarized?"

Who writes this stuff?

exartizo's picture

Apparently, Mr. Maduro refuses to go quietly into the night.

Which is sad for the Venezuelan people.

AgShaman's picture

This is what happens to countries that do not make deals with the Vampire Squid....via it's economic hit men