Venezuela: Always a bad sign when your military scatters and runs

As with everything else in socialist Venezuela, truth is experiencing some shortages.

So it's not all that clear whether the 'incident' that went down in Venezuela on Saturday afternoon, seen in this video here, was really an 'assassination attempt' on President Nicolas Maduro, from two drones carrying the moldable explosive known as C-4,  as the Venezuelan government claimed, or else the noise from a gas canister explosion from a nearby apartment building, as local firemen have alleged. (CBS had the best coverage overall, along with a Getty photo, here.)

What's also not known is who did it. Was it an internal coup, or something Colombia did, as Maduro has just a little too quickly claimed, or was it the sheer shambles of socialism as the country falls apart across the board, that led to the unscripted (or who knows, maybe scripted) explosion? Was it a combination of the two? Or, as Venezuelan Twitter dissidents have alleged, was it something the embattled Maduro set off himself, in a bid to win sympathy for himself along with an excuse to arrest dissidents?

With icy cold detachment, Pedro Burelli tweets the extent of the confusion:

But based on the pictures seen, here's one thing that isn't in question at all:

The military ran. It broke up like a mob of scared rabbits. They were the picture of chaos and disorder and it was all caught on camera. The whole grand parade Maduro was making a speech at the head of absolutely fell apart as the soldiers broke and fled in panic. It kind of looked like the Winter Palace scenes from the 1917 Russian Revolution, except in tropical Technicolor. Here is a CNN screengrab from a VTV report (VTV is a coopted private Venezuelan network that has long been tamed by the regime), which can be viewed in full on Youtube.

Among the troops, there didn't seem to be anyone injured or down in those parade areas as the trigger for the panic, although one man with three stars on his shoulders, probably a general near the stands, was later seen with a bloody face. That could support the gas explosion theory as setting off a panic. The single bloody face could also support the self-attack theory, since if there was a real attack, there would be a lot of bloody faces. However, based on what's seen in the film, the troops in formation did break apart in chaos in two very distinct sections of the parade line-up, which might support the two drones claim. So it's hard to say what happened, particularly with as dishonest a government as Maduro's making the claims.

 

 

 

The sorry specter of Venezuela's army falling into rapid disorder is one takeaway that we know the Maduroites didn't want to get out.

The other thing Maduro wouldn't have much interest in getting out is the expressions of panic on his own and the first lady's faces from the pictures. Never helpful for a strongman to look so very weak. Here is a screengrab from CNN and you can see the whole report on Youtube here.

A third problem for Maduro is that his security men looked like buffoons. Look at the chaos and the odd visages of his supposed security detail - look at that protective ... umbrella. Look at the mixed expressions signalling that not everyone was on the same page. The full RT video can be viewed here.

The fact that the state cameras cut off the footage and ran a dreamy film sequence of a white horse running (this was a Hugo Chavez favorite trope) was classic state censorship, proof they didn't want these sorts of pictures to get out. But they didn't censor all of it, and the sorry spectacle of a weak Venezuelan military of very little discipline pretty well signals that Maduro isn't all that well-protected.

Maduro's detested regime, which is in there by full-blown electoral fraud, (not a single nation of consequence supports the result of last May's vote) has already been subject to assorted quasi coup attempts. There was one last year when a disgruntled military man attacked the supreme court. Now there is this. And with valuable intelligence out there for all to see about the shambling state of Venezuela's military, you can bet there will be new efforts coming up to leverage that.

With word now out that Venezuela's military is panicky and easily startled, Maduro's enemies can only conclude that making a move on him means that the odds of success will likely be better than supposed, while the risk will be less and less obvious. From this, the one thing that can be concluded is that such acts will get increasingly bolder, more frequent, and more violent.

As with everything else in socialist Venezuela, truth is experiencing some shortages.

So it's not all that clear whether the 'incident' that went down in Venezuela on Saturday afternoon, seen in this video here, was really an 'assassination attempt' on President Nicolas Maduro, from two drones carrying the moldable explosive known as C-4,  as the Venezuelan government claimed, or else the noise from a gas canister explosion from a nearby apartment building, as local firemen have alleged. (CBS had the best coverage overall, along with a Getty photo, here.)

What's also not known is who did it. Was it an internal coup, or something Colombia did, as Maduro has just a little too quickly claimed, or was it the sheer shambles of socialism as the country falls apart across the board, that led to the unscripted (or who knows, maybe scripted) explosion? Was it a combination of the two? Or, as Venezuelan Twitter dissidents have alleged, was it something the embattled Maduro set off himself, in a bid to win sympathy for himself along with an excuse to arrest dissidents?

With icy cold detachment, Pedro Burelli tweets the extent of the confusion:

But based on the pictures seen, here's one thing that isn't in question at all:

The military ran. It broke up like a mob of scared rabbits. They were the picture of chaos and disorder and it was all caught on camera. The whole grand parade Maduro was making a speech at the head of absolutely fell apart as the soldiers broke and fled in panic. It kind of looked like the Winter Palace scenes from the 1917 Russian Revolution, except in tropical Technicolor. Here is a CNN screengrab from a VTV report (VTV is a coopted private Venezuelan network that has long been tamed by the regime), which can be viewed in full on Youtube.

Among the troops, there didn't seem to be anyone injured or down in those parade areas as the trigger for the panic, although one man with three stars on his shoulders, probably a general near the stands, was later seen with a bloody face. That could support the gas explosion theory as setting off a panic. The single bloody face could also support the self-attack theory, since if there was a real attack, there would be a lot of bloody faces. However, based on what's seen in the film, the troops in formation did break apart in chaos in two very distinct sections of the parade line-up, which might support the two drones claim. So it's hard to say what happened, particularly with as dishonest a government as Maduro's making the claims.

 

 

 

The sorry specter of Venezuela's army falling into rapid disorder is one takeaway that we know the Maduroites didn't want to get out.

The other thing Maduro wouldn't have much interest in getting out is the expressions of panic on his own and the first lady's faces from the pictures. Never helpful for a strongman to look so very weak. Here is a screengrab from CNN and you can see the whole report on Youtube here.

A third problem for Maduro is that his security men looked like buffoons. Look at the chaos and the odd visages of his supposed security detail - look at that protective ... umbrella. Look at the mixed expressions signalling that not everyone was on the same page. The full RT video can be viewed here.

The fact that the state cameras cut off the footage and ran a dreamy film sequence of a white horse running (this was a Hugo Chavez favorite trope) was classic state censorship, proof they didn't want these sorts of pictures to get out. But they didn't censor all of it, and the sorry spectacle of a weak Venezuelan military of very little discipline pretty well signals that Maduro isn't all that well-protected.

Maduro's detested regime, which is in there by full-blown electoral fraud, (not a single nation of consequence supports the result of last May's vote) has already been subject to assorted quasi coup attempts. There was one last year when a disgruntled military man attacked the supreme court. Now there is this. And with valuable intelligence out there for all to see about the shambling state of Venezuela's military, you can bet there will be new efforts coming up to leverage that.

With word now out that Venezuela's military is panicky and easily startled, Maduro's enemies can only conclude that making a move on him means that the odds of success will likely be better than supposed, while the risk will be less and less obvious. From this, the one thing that can be concluded is that such acts will get increasingly bolder, more frequent, and more violent.