Maduro fires intelligence chief amidst reports of inner circle defections

Venezuela crisisThe embattled President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has reportedly fired his intelligence director, as news emerged early on Thursday that members of his inner circle were considering removing him from power. These reports circulated shortly after Juan Guaidó, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, openly called on the country’s Armed Forces to remove Maduro from power. Guaidó has been recognized by over 50 countries —including the United States and much of the European Union— as the legitimate president of Venezuela. But Maduro continues to be supported by a number of powerful allies, including China and Russia, which sent troops there last month.

On Wednesday, Maduro dismissed General Christopher Figuera from the post of director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN). SEBIN is Venezuela’s primary intelligence agency and has a dual domestic and international role. Much of its domestic mission is to protect and defend the Bolivarian Revolution, which forms the ideological framework of the country’s socialist government. Critics accuse SEBIN of operating as the Venezuelan government’s political police, and of committing scores of human rights abuses against supporters of the opposition. But it appears that Figuera responded favorably to Guaidó’s call on April 30 for an uprising against Maduro. Speaking at a rally on Tuesday, Guaidó said that the Venezuelan military “no longer back […] Maduro […]. They are backing the constitution and are for a change of government”, he said. He went on describe the movement against Maduro as “a usurpation”.

On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Venezuelan opposition forces had been holding “secret talks” with members of Maduro’s inner circle, aimed at removing Maduro from power. Among those who held secret talks with opposition negotiators, said the paper, were Minister of Defense General Vladimir Padrino, and General Iván Rafael Hernández, head of Venezuela’s military spy agency, the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM). Meanwhile, the American-based geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor said on Wednesday that the uprising led by Guaidó appeared to be “more extensive than initial reports indicated”. According to Stratfor, members of the military and security forces “seized multiple garrisons across the country” and created “substantial cracks” in the security services and the military. Other sources, however, including Britain’s Daily Telegraph, claimed that Guaidó’s efforts were “weak” and “folded” quite quickly. By Tuesday night, said The Telegraph, several members of Guaidó’s reform movement had sought asylum in foreign embassies in Caracas, and Guaidó’s whereabouts remained unknown. Observers noted, however, that the likelihood of further violence increased as the uprising continued to unfold, and that another “major event” could take place at any moment.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 02 May 2019 | Permalink

 

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2 Responses to Maduro fires intelligence chief amidst reports of inner circle defections

  1. VENEZUELA: OPERACION LIBERTAD.
    Observando, a través de diferentes medios de comunicación –OSINT- el desenvolvimiento del teatro de operaciones desarrollado durante la “Operación Libertad” ejecutada por Juan Guaidó en Venezuela, sumado a las declaraciones de Pompeo, Borton y Abrams acerca de un acuerdo entre la oposición y altos funcionarios de ese gobierno truncado por Rusia, más escuchando las expresiones de Trump de apretar más a Cuba –la que supuestamente “no conocía” acerca de estos acuerdos- se llega a la conclusión de que los asesores de inteligencia de la isla diseñaron, en coordinación con sus homólogos venezolanos, un excelente y exitoso “Juego Operativo” el que, afortunadamente para unos, lamentable para otros, permitió desarrollar una “Operación de Falsa Bandera” que condujo a los Servicios Especiales de los EE.UU. a digerir la desinformación “sensitiva” obtenida así como los supuestos “contactos de primer nivel” establecidos, para en base a ello entregar a sus líderes Estimados de Inteligencia “conteniendo los objetivos de interés” desconociendo que estos fueron elaborados por sus adversarios cubanos-venezolanos”. De ahí las declaraciones, y seguridad, de los hacedores de política del Departamento de Estado –Borton y Abraham- y del máximo ejecutivo de la nación norteamericana de apostar por el éxito de la “Operación libertad”. Es lógica la agresividad del presidente norteamericano, y sus principales colaboradores con Cuba –no pueden asimilar el golpe dado por un jugador menor- y para no reconocer que los Servicios Especiales desarrollaron con éxito lo que se puede denominar como una Burla Maestra prefieren invocar a Rusia –un jugador mayor- como factor determinante en su fracaso. Se puede desarrollar aún más este análisis, pero no hay espacio suficiente para ello.Muchas gracias a IntelNews por mantenernos informado del acontecer de los Servicios Especiales en el mundo. Dr. Alfonso

  2. Pete says:

    I wonder whether parts of the Trump Administration, like the State Department, etc, are feeding exaggerated stories to particular newspapers and intelligence consultancies, in order to manipulate the Venezuelan situation.

    That is exaggerated stories of how “tenuous” Maduro’s hold on power might be.

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