Like an electric shock, the assassination attempt of yesterday’s afternoon, August 4th, with the evident traumatic aftermath that embodies an event of such nature, seemed to make us become aware of the critical space and time in the history of the Homeland where our lives are at stake. Also, we do it through the life of Maduro.
The facts already known about the operation
In the middle of the multitudinous activity at the Bolívar Avenue in Caracas, on the occasion of the 81th anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB by its Spanish acronym), two drones charged with explosive material exploded close to the presidential platform, when the President was preparing himself to close his speech for all those present.
Due to the magnitude of the explosion, the national television network was cut. The security staff implemented manoeuvres of deployment and security protocols, which were duly activated, to protect the life of the Head of State.
Minutes later, in the light of the confusion, the Minister for Communication and Information, Jorge Rodríguez, confirmed that it was an attack and that President Maduro and the civil and military high ranking officials of the Venezuelan State, who were on the platform, resulted unharmed. Seven military officials were harmed due to the explosions, who have already received medical treatment.
According to official versions, drones fell after the explosion and it was confirmed the existence of explosive material. “Extra official” sources provided by an opposition journalist, named Roman Camacho, reaffirmed that the explosive device contained C4 explosives.
Minutes later, a group called Soldados de Franelas, (Soldiers in T-shirts) related to the now extinct paramilitary group of the former officer Óscar Pérez, who, by the end of last year, performed several armed attacks against civil and military institutions of the country and claimed the responsibility for the attack on social networks.
This credit eliminated the idea of a “self-attack” or an “isolated explosion” in a building near the Bolivar Avenue, as some social network and international media operators, such as the Associated Press, had tried to diffuse to distract attention and cover up responsibilities.
The gang led by Óscar Pérez was dismantled through a serious confrontation with the security forces early this year near the Venezuelan capital, specifically in El Junquito. However, the return of one of its members indicates that the paramilitary card against Venezuela also remains on the table.
By the end of the night, President Nicolás Maduro addressed the country to relate the events occurred and stressed that the perpetrators of the attack were under arrest. The first inquiry, according to the Head of State, produced the linkage of Bogotá and Miami, in other words, the outgoing President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos and operators based in Florida.
Symbolic and material aspects: timing, body language and logic of the ceremony
The assassination attempt also showed a specific and symbolic violence connotation aimed at important political entities related to the stability of the country and the State. The nature of the ceremony at the Bolivar Avenue, as well as the persons who were at the presidential platform, also describe the selection of the right moment to perform the attack.
The ceremony commemorates the 81th anniversary of the GNB, military body responsible for the internal order. Last year, during the color revolution, the GNB was a key element to neutralize the paramilitary progress of the guarimba and its logistical infrastructure.
Attacking the President precisely in that ceremony and not in other one implies the symbolic exhibition of the military body as vulnerable and unable to respond. It was supposed to put again in the public speech, through a (failed) commotion act at a large scale, the issue of violent confrontation which was dismantled by the National Constituent Assembly a year ago.
However, the attempt failed as well as what was supposed to take place if the goal aiming at affecting the President was achieved: a considerable amount of critical opinion via propaganda to generate chaos, the fact of taking advantage of the situation to massively diffuse a supposed uprising. Also, the use of propaganda from external powers and the solution of “solving” the “lack of authority” through a measure from an external force (probably a military one), or at least the proposal of this kind of measure as the unique mechanism to “stabilize” the nation, thus imposing the presidential sash to one of the large amount of persons that aspire to become the next president of Venezuela.
Just thinking on the worst scenario, and considering that yesterday’s event was probably the worst one, helps us to be prepared for possible attacks in this extreme danger zone in which we have just entered.
A symbolic and important fact: the ceremony was attended by the Head of State, the military high command and the representatives of the Venezuelan public powers. The human representation of the Venezuelan State was in the same stage. In the moment of the attack, the assassination attempt showed its real purpose: to murder the State and the representatives of the narrow border between peace and war.
The Bolívar Avenue has a set of features (open space, large buildings and its surroundings, etc.) that offered advantages to perform the attempt with regard to the manipulation of drones which could reach the target by exploiting some zones of the security system. However, the fact that this attack was performed during a national television network shows the intention of making this assassination eternal in the memory of the people and in the contemporary history of the country. They not only sought to murder him but also to diffuse this event through a national television network.
In the political field, the body language sometimes expresses more than speeches. In this sense, the reaction of President Maduro was remarkable before an extremist situation: in the moment of the explosion, he was peaceful; he was willing to continue his speech in spite of the fact he could be murdered. If this event served as a precedent to analyze the magnitude of the action of operators of the warfare against Venezuela, it is also useful to appreciate the determination of Maduro and his strength when death was near.
Paramilitarization of politics, modernization of violence and qualitative improvements since “Golpe azul” (Blue Coup)
Through the failed “Golpe azul” (Blue Coup), a new kind of political violence is clearly implemented in the Venezuelan politics, in which the weapon factor plays a significant role. From that moment, the internal conspiracy in the military field found convergence points (supported from abroad). The most insane side of the Venezuelan opposition and the American and Colombian financial supply was planning anti-political agendas. In this context, Julio Borges and Antonio Ledezma were notable as operators of such dirty warfare.
Through this plan of bombing the Miraflores Palace and murder President Maduro until now, an operative transformation, a development of capacities and a professionalization of methods can be appreciated, which are increasing in the political life of the country. A great example of this was not only the readiness level in urban warfare of the Guarimbas’ operators in 2014 and 2017 but also the emergence of a local version of the Islamic State. It is the case of Oscar Perez and his gang with a sophisticated sense of irregular violence, through attacks against civil and military institutions.
From the case of Daktari farm in 2004 to all plans of assassination dismantled by the Venezuelan security body and Oscar Perez, the trace of the Colombian paramilitary is present. Only the change in its way of execution is clearly notable, but also in the selection of its focal point.
In the absence of the conditions for an open warfare under Colombian orders, the treatment or the way of reaching the goal is adapted.
The material evidence of this modernization is precisely the use of an explosive drone. This mechanism represents one of the mortal innovations regarding the war resources of the Islamic State, due to the tactic and financial advantages it has for murdering more effectively.
Such mechanism has been imported and adapted by the drug trafficking world, which has been notoriously used by mexicans.
The use of this instrument describes not only a level of expertise and preparation related to a kind of professional violence, but also put the trace of the operation in the hands of paramilitary operators who are the import sector of the terrorism’s innovations.
At this point, the anecdote turns strategic. A shock like the yesterday’s one is a representation of something more serious: the paramilitary phenomenon as a strategy to change the peaceful and democratic nature of the Venezuelan people. Also, the expansion of the failed Colombian State is related to it.
Bogotá-Miami: Operation Centre
A report by the Bloomberg finance specialist, published in June, confirmed what we know since the “Golpe Azul” (Blue Coup): Colombia has served as a base for operation, financing and coordination of coup-mongering plans (and assassination) against Venezuela.
This time, it was called “Constitution Operation” and it had been planned in Bogota, with Colombian and financial military support. The objective was to kidnap Maduro and prosecute him. Although it does not mention the institution, it is not necessary to be smart to know it could be the “Supreme Court of Justice in exile”, whereby the Colombian Congress uses for meeting and specifically to “judge Maduro.”
The approach that has been presented in 2018 is one where high American and Colombian officials openly push to force a coup d’état in Venezuela, thus promoting it sometimes as a form of amnesty, and as a way to “restore the democracy” that the Venezuelan opposition could not restore.
Bloomberg publication clearly describes the role of the Colombian Government in the planning and coordination of this strategy, but also certifies, with equal clarity, its support to the warfare against Venezuela (contraband, attack on currency, paramilitaries, etc.).
The following sequence speaks for itself: after remaining silent for months, the self-exiled Julio Borges, as we know, likes coups d’état situations, reappeared in social networks to predict that the fall of Maduro was close. At the same time, President Juan Manuel Santos also warned the imminent end of Maduro.
Two irrefutable evidences of some kind of involvement, or at least fully aware, of a kind of public support with premeditation, with regard to the event perpetrated yesterday, because only an assassination attempt is the closest thing to their prophecies.
Both speeches, as well as the report by Bloomberg and the intense calls of US officials addressed to the Venezuelan military throughout 2018, should also be considered as strategies to soften public opinion, the collective imagination, with the aim of forcing the population to naturalize a violent response or a fact of shock in the short term. Preparing the minds of the country to accept that something tragic is to come is accompanied, in this case, by a strategy of forced and artificial consent, where people accept a misfortune as a logical and predicted event.
President Maduro also pointed to the state of La Florida, crib of chronic people who like to sanction Venezuela (Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros, etc.), but also of dirty warfare operators who self-exiled there. As the case of Jose Antonio Colina, who was protected by Marco Rubio and entertainer of the diaspora in Miami, who became famous for having placed bombs in the Spanish embassy and at the CNE in 2003, and more recently for sending devices to equip the violent groups who participated in the Guarimbas.
The Economic Recovery Plan: the accelerator
The Plan for Economic Recovery, designed by President Maduro and his government team, has been presented as a comprehensive strategy to attack the serious focal points of the economic warfare and return stability to the country.
The Plan implies a reorganization of the monetary and foreign exchange policies, a reorganization of the subsidy to gasoline and a decriminalization (through the derogation of the Law against Foreign Exchange Crime) in the foreign currency market to decrease the influence of the parallel dollar indicators in the formation of the price system.
These measures show a series of economic interests that will be affected, especially those related to gasoline. Indeed, it is only a binational matter.
Important regions of the Colombian eastern, their political elites related to the drug trafficking and paramilitaries, even their economic and business fields, depend on the plundering of the Venezuelan fuels to maintain an artificial State which has a false economic sovereignty.
With regard to the measures proposed by Maduro, the question is not only a change of the rules of the game, which would disable the serious focal points of the economic warfare, in other words, the total loss of political capital of the opposition and the United States, but also the own primary subsistence of a para-economic system that, at the other side of the border, lives from the cannibalism of our fuel.
Indeed, this factor further strengthens the participation of the Colombian side since the change those regions might experience as a result of regularization of the gasoline market imposes a new focus of stability to the coming Colombian government, who establishes as a State policy to overthrow Maduro to maintain the current order of the situation.
The strategic danger zone and the stage of economic post-sanction conflict
From a formal perspective, in other words, from a legal and political perspective, the United States, the great leader of the warfare against Venezuela, has reached its own limits.
Imposing sanctions implies to strengthen Maduro, according to his own think-tanks, or encourage a conflict with investors and enterprises interested in maintaining tolerable relations with Venezuela. Taking action based on the military perspective is not an option either in the current situation. This is the reason why the outsourcing of transactions against the Venezuelan economy and security from Colombia, under paramilitary, diplomatic, trade and financial mechanisms is strengthened.
At an international level, the OAS has debated a lot about the Venezuela issue (as well as the Lima Group). Overcoming the situation by bringing Maduro to the Supreme Court of Justice in exile or to the International Criminal Court is not a measure able to interrupt the economic plan of recovery. With regard to the national opposition, it is the same situation: a country that has a lot of conflicts does not consider it as a reference.
In this sense, it seems we are undoubtedly entering in a danger zone where sanctions serve as points of negotiation and economic dismantling. It is no the final solution in spite of the fact that the permanent pursuit of mixing the chaos the financial blockade generates with a new violent modality that benefits the opposition in the political field. In this sense Colombia, awaiting the new government of Ivan Duque, wants to assume the leadership that did not succeed inside the country.
The formal power has already progressed until the legal limits allow it. This implies that, in the strategic danger zone, the coming attacks will be aimed at the crime, assassination of political representatives, the intensification of the economic collapse, other factors of the dirty warfare and the extra-political strategies.
The image of the attack was consistent and synthesizes the new upsurge scenario that began after May 20th, where the Venezuelan situation is imprinted with a sense of total insecurity, where all the fields (the political, institutional, economic, human ones) of the society are at risk, suspended in terms of constitutionally enshrined rights, in terms of what has been politically conquered; where, also, the new modalities of social death implanted against Venezuela, through the financial blockade (among other crimes), pose to become massive and natural to our social metabolism.
If the economic recovery plan seeks a cessation of that process, we must undermine it. If the sanctions and international pressure cannot achieved it; if we cannot put the population against the government, we must murder the leader. This is the reasoning that led them to kill Patrice Lumumba, Omar Torrijos and others. “If I cannot have control on you, I will kill you”.
Killing in these terms, implies, most importantly, to fracture a society and break it forever. This is what they were seeking yesterday. However, they failed again.