Monday, January 7, 2013
The Cryptic Illness of Hugo Chavez and Covert Cuban Ambitions
By Jerry Brewer
With little doubt, the drama continuing
to unfold in Venezuela and Cuba about the condition and current status of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's terminal
illness is anything but transparent. Chavez (58) has not been publicly seen or heard from since undergoing his fourth cancer-related
operation in Cuba on December 11, 2012.
Venezuela's citizens and opposition
have demanded more specific information from the government about his health. Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro stated
in December, "he (Chavez) gave us his approval to keep the people informed always, always with the truth, however harsh
it could be."
Official and unofficial statements about Chavez's
condition have run the gamut, from him being in a coma, declared dead, and resting comfortably. Some reports even suggested
that he may be able to be sworn in again to his next six year term on January 10. It is anyone's guess as to the true
status of the obvious subterfuge from the Venezuelan and Cuban governments.
is no secret that the Venezuelan and Cuban governments are partners in collaborating on the necessity for staunch control
of the Venezuelan homeland and other mutual interests.
Castro has served as Hugo Chavez's mentor for years, whereas the latter has carried on Cuba's Revolution as his own
Bolivarian Revolution. When Chavez visited Cuba in 2005 he told Fidel Castro publicly that their two countries were "a
single nation" with one flag." Castro replied, "We are Venecubans." Chavez and the
Castro brothers publicly portray their mutual admiration and support as "a socialist solidarity" in the struggle
against the (U.S.) empire."
The Castros' resource starved revolution
has been nurtured generously by Hugo Chavez. The Castro brother's personal wealth has been estimated as "combined
- easily worth $2 billion." The Hugo Chavez Frias family in Venezuela "has amassed wealth on a similar scale
since Chavez's presidency began in 1999."
The Chavez presidency
has been described as one of the most disorganized and corrupt in the history of Venezuelan finances. For the most part, the
amount of money coming into the country has been the highest in Venezuelan history, but massive squandering of money resulted
in the poor continuing to live in squalor, with unsafe homes, little food, and rolling blackouts of electricity. The squandering
of the massive Venezuelan oil revenue is a topic ignored by the Chavez regime.
Moreover, Chavez has probably inflicted more lasting structural damage on Venezuela's political institutions,
economy and people than any other president in that nation's history.
Cuba has benefited enormously from Chavez's generosity. Chavez's death could threaten $7 billion of subsidized oil
exports alone that help hold up Cuba's economy.
economy and the intense suffering of the oppressed Cuban people are not results of the US embargo. Those failings and woes
are due to a system dominated for decades by the Castros' and their oppressive military elite. Fidel Castro's long
rule over Cuba has brought years of misery to that homeland and the Cuban people. His communist ideology in Cuba's internal
and external affairs unscrupulously forced much sacrifice upon the citizens. And his ideology, a means for the promotion of
the goal that guided him from the start -- to reach the country's top position and to stay there. Much like Hugo Chavez.
In October 2000 Chávez and Castro signed the Convenio Integral de Cooperación,
under which Venezuela would send 53,000 barrels-per-day of oil to Cuba and would receive technical support in return. In February
2005, Venezuela increased its discounted oil shipments to Cuba to 90,000 barrels-per-day. In 2007, the two countries
established a joint venture to revamp the Cienfuegos oil refinery in Cuba. According to this scheme, a 51% share of the plant
would be held by Cuba and 49% by Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company.
Hugo Chavez established much of his control of Venezuela through iron fisted fear and Cuban
security initiatives. He adopted the previous Soviet-styled Cuban intelligence service as his model for Venezuela. This
has included Cubans involved in immigration and passport control. Chavez enjoys direct access to these security operatives
as indicated by cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas to the State Department. The number of Cuban intelligence
experts working in Venezuela is reported to be over 3,000.
There are reports
of "a mix of Cuban security officers and veteran senior military officials, and military deployments," currently
on the ground in Venezuela.
Current and former Cuban citizens of the world
continue to speak out against the Castro(s) regime, citing executions, torture and an oppression that has held and degraded
the Cuban homeland since Fidel Castro came to power with his revolution in 1959.
As leftist leaders, such as Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, claim devotion -- emulating and glorifying Castro's revolution
as their own, the Castro brother's tenure of a dictatorial lack of humane leadership and ruin of the Cuban homeland remains
constant chatter by those that have lived and fear the nightmare.
true intentions in Venezuela may only be known by the terminally ill Hugo Chavez.
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation
firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at http://www.cjiausa.org/.