By 2019, the Second Caribbean Crisis, in Venezuela, echoed the first Carribean Crisis in Cuba in 1962. In both, Washington and Moscow locked horns over the survival of a Socialist regime in the Western Hemisphere. Although the differences outnumber the similarities, the leaders in both countries must have in mind the performances of the predecessors. Trump cannot fold where Kennedy stood firm. Putin has an opportunity to succeed where Khrushchev failed.
The unrest in Venezuela turned into a battleground of rhetoric between the United States and Russia. White House national security adviser John Bolton said, “This is our hemisphere. It’s not where the Russians ought to be interfering. This is a mistake on their part. It’s not going to lead to an improvement of relations.” After a telephone conversation between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 01 May 2019, the Russian warned of “the most drastic of consequences” if the U.S. continued what he called “aggressive steps.” Pompeo and Lavrov planned to meet in Finland, as tensions simmer between the countries over the crisis in Venezuela. On 01 May 2019 Pompeo told Lavrov in a phone call that “the intervention by Russia and Cuba is destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship.”
|area||75,420 sq km||912,050 sq km|
14,000 TOTAL Defense Forces|
3,500 Dignity Battalions
23,000 National Guard
|tanks||- 0 -||173|
|- 0 -||54|
|US Bases||6||- 0 -|
|US Planning||PLAN BLUE SPOON||none?|
|United States KIA||23|
In May 2006, Venezuelan politicians complained about a "first person shooter" computer game that simulated an invasion of the South American nation. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames for the Playstation 3 was developed by [now defunct] Pandemic Studios and published by Electronic Arts. In Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, gamers play soldiers sent to overthrow "a power-hungry tyrant [who] messes with Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a war zone".
In the game Ramon Solano was a druglord who contracted the player's mercenary for a job. Following a militaristic coup, Solano becomes the dictator of Venezuela. He used his position to seize control of the country's oil supply, resulting in an international incident and distress among OPEC. A large portion of the Venezuelan army fiercely support the dictator's cause. A mercenary who was betrayed by the Venezuela war lord is out for revenge. The Mercenary goes through the open world, taking over cars and blasting through the enemy lines.
Disclaimer on official Mercenaries 2 website stated "Pandemic Studios is in the business of entertainment. It has never been contacted by any U.S. government agency concerning the development of Mercenaries 2. All persons, storylines and events are purely fictional and bear no relation to real events. As with any number of games, movies and books, the decision to choose interesting events and locations is purely designed to tell a compelling story, as well as provide a fun and rich experience for the gamer."
Venezuelan congressman Ismael Garcia, a supporter of Chavez, said the computer game was preparation work for a real invasion. "I think the US government knows how to prepare campaigns of psychological terror so they can make things happen later," he said.
Since Maduro took office in 2013, he had been warning of US military designs on Venezuela, home to the world's largest oil reserves. But most Venezuelans tended to shrug the accusations off as diversionary tactics of an unpopular leader. One website even emerged to keep track of the multiple conspiracy theories spread on state media and Maduro's frequent harangues against Washington. But Trump's August 2017 comments that he won't rule out a "military option" in Venezuela may yet validate those claims in the eyes of some government supporters.
From the early hours of the morning 30 April 2019, interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó carried out a series of measures to launch "Operation Libertad", and his first step was to pardon the opposition leader of Voluntad Popular Leopoldo López, sentenced to 14 years of jail. Both leaders called on the Armed Forces to join "Operation Freedom" to end once and for all with the "Usurper Government".
Guaido told the Washington Post last 04 April 2019 that his coup was meant to stir a military uprising to overthrow the government of legitimate President Nicolás Maduro. Guaido admitted to the Washington Post that he made many errors during the coup attempt, including his failure to win over the armed forces of the Bolivarian Republic. During the exclusive interview, Guaido said he expected the Venezuelan military, along with members of the government, to defect to his side. “Maybe because we still need more soldiers, and maybe we need more officials of the regime to be willing to support it, to back the constitution,” Guaidó said. “I think the variables are obvious at this point.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a rare face-to-face meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Finland on 06 May 2019, after which he warned that U.S. military intervention in Venezuela would be catastrophic and unjustified.
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