Cuban

Venezuela Military Might

In December 2007, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez suffered his first defeat at the polls. Although still wildly popular among the working class that had propelled him to power nearly a decade earlier, voters rejected a referendum that would have enabled him to run for re-election repeatedly. Stung, Chavez turned to a close confidant, according to three former advisors: Fidel Castro. The aging Cuban leader had mentored Chavez years before the Venezuelan became president, when he was still best known for leading a failed coup. Now, deepening economic ties were making Cuba ever more reliant on oil-rich Venezuela, and Castro was eager to help Chavez stay in power, these advisors say. Castro’s advice: Ensure absolute control of the military. Easier said than done. Venezuela’s military had a history of uprisings, sometimes leading to coups of the sort that Chavez, when a lieutenant colonel in the army, had staged in 1992. A decade later, rivals waged a short-lived putsch against Chavez himself. But if Chavez took the right steps, the Cuban instructed, he could hang on as long as Castro himself had, the advisors recalled. Cuba’s military, with Castro’s brother at the helm, controlled everything from security to key sectors of the economy. Within months, the countries drew up two agreements, recently reviewed by Reuters, that gave Cuba deep access to Venezuela’s military – and wide latitude to spy on it and revamp it. The agreements, specifics of which are reported here for the first time, led to the imposing of strict surveillanceContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Vladimir Putin - Politics News In Russia

Colonel General Bondarev called for old Russian bases in Vietnam to be re-opened. He said: “I believe under the condition of increased tension in the world and frank intervention in the internal affairs of other countries, Russia’s historical partners, our return to Latin America is not ruled out. Of course, this should be coordinated with the Cubans. We should also think about our Navy’s return to Vietnam with the permission of the government.”Continue reading