Monday, February 17, 2014
The Cuban Model versus a Burgeoning Opposition in Venezuela
By Jerry Brewer
Much like the frustrations faced by citizens of Cuba opposing and
wanting to unseat the oppressive Castro regime in their homeland,
Venezuelans went much further last week in a bold and aggressive display
of unity to demonstrate their desire for immediate change.
Unlike most true democracies and transparent governments, President
Nicolas Maduro’s leftist regimen was quick to borrow a page out of Fidel
Castro’s nearly 50 year iron-fisted repertoire of closing down the media
and communications to censor violent enforcement actions from an
inquiring free world.
Yet those archaic, sinister and tyrannical methods were not enough to
silence thousands of youthful students and other once proud Venezuelans
from demanding a full redress of their grievances. Moreover, the Maduro
administration’s suppression did not escape the social media and some
Serious violence, beatings and killings were graphically demonstrated,
some showing a barbaric cadre of police and other security officials
retaliating in lieu of utilizing prevention strategies and exercising
The social media, that included videos and pictures by citizens,
captured the violence in several cities from concealed locations that
included rooftops, balconies, and other vantage points that offered some
safety from attack. However, Venezuelan security officials monitoring
the leaks to the world acted quickly.
On Friday, Twitter advised that the Venezuelan government had blocked
images on their service following anti-government protests that turned
bloody, and offered an alternative for those who wanted to get their
messages and bloody pictures out via cellular phones.
There were reports of hackers defacing and knocking various government
websites offline, and “organizing and choreographing online
denial-of-service attacks” that flood sites with traffic, making them
temporarily untouchable. Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler said Friday, via
email and in response to an Associated Press inquiry, that “Twitter
images are currently blocked in Venezuela.”
There were video and still images circulated via Twitter after several
killings that appeared to depict police and pro-government activists
shooting at protesters. The socialist Venezuelan government closely
dominates the nation’s airwaves. International media also faced
harassment as police smashed and confiscated cameras. Venezuela’s
government also suspended broadcasting inside the nation on Wednesday
night of the “regional news channel NTN24, claiming it was trying to
incite citizens to overthrow the government.”
Bill Woodcock, research director at the nonprofit Packet Clearing House,
said Venezuela has “a pretty tight control over the Internet compared to
other countries. Not as tight as Cuba, but probably tighter than anybody
else.” The San Francisco-based researcher said Venezuela is in “some
ways more restrictive than China.”
There should be little doubt to the free world that the late President
of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, was — and is — responsible for the misery
and devastation suffered in the once oil rich country. With that
destruction went Venezuela’s pride. The citizens were duped.
In October 2000, then President Chavez signed a pact with Fidel Castro
agreeing to supply a third of Cuba’s petroleum needs in return for Cuban
help in training teachers and developing curricula for “Bolivarian”
schools. As well, and even with Venezuela’s high unemployment rate,
reports indicated that Chavez gave jobs to Cuban doctors, sports
coaches, and intelligence officers.
Chavez was no stranger to the circle of terror networks lurking and
conspiring to do harm to the western hemisphere. In 2001 Chavez paid
presidential state visits to Iran, Iraq, and Libya. Fidel Castro was
quick to follow his protégé with visits to Syria, Libya, and Iran.
Chavez signed cooperation agreements with Saddam Hussein, Muammar
Qaddafi, and Iran’s ruling mullahs
Hugo Chavez sold his soul to Fidel Castro and Castro’s revolution, which
became Venezuela’s revolution under the Chavez rule. In the face of a
watchful free world, in June 2005 Chavez seemed to enjoy a photo
opportunity in western Cuba as he rode in an open jeep with Fidel
Castro, both wearing military fatigues and saluting a citizenry waving
Cuban and Venezuelan flags. Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution continued
with Castro as his self-claimed mentor that also resulted in the two
enjoying a photo-op in Argentina the following month in 2005, at the
boyhood home of the murderous revolutionary Che Guevara.
The Castro and Chavez tours were eye opening to those that paid attention.
History shows that Cuba’s past dependence on Russian/Soviet markets and
military aid allowed Castro to build a formidable military force. The
Soviet KGB helped Castro with tight Communist Party control over all
levels of government, media, and education. All of this resulted in a
ruthless Soviet-style internal police force. Cuban citizens suffer under
this violent oppression until this very day.
Freedom loving Venezuelans, who are protesting and not only risking
their lives, but too losing them, realize that their plight is against
iron-fisted controls and power. But they do not want to be the heirs to
Chavez’s legacy, a legacy of ruin and destruction, and a mysterious
depletion of the nation’s vast oil income and wealth.
Today, under Maduro, Cuban state security apparatchiks and high ranking
military officials are still present in key Venezuelan locations. Forces
that have trained and staffed the Bolivarian security forces, and they
reportedly yield a great deal of influence, power, and control.
These reckless revolutions, by the Castro brothers and Chavez, have
brought misery to their homelands, with an ideology forcing extreme
sacrifices. This while their personal goals have been to simply gain
power and control, reach the country’s top position, stay there, and
become wealthy men. And they have done just that.
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 www.cjiausa.org.
Source: The Cuban Model versus a Burgeoning Opposition in Venezuela –