A problematic Venezuelan general turns up dead in a Caracas hotel

Are the socialist death squads still at it in dictator Nicolás Maduro's Venezuela?

Looks like, it, given a still untranslated story about a dead general turning up in Caracas.  Here's a rough Google translation from El Universal:

Caracas.- The former director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), Manuel Cristopher Figuera, said that the death of Major Jesús Alberto García Hernández is a "selective and custom-made" murder, since "he handled sensitive information about the cases of the most frightful and aberrant corruption "of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

This is still an unfolding story, but background here tells us a lot.

Figuera is one of the few top Maduro deputies who has defected to the side of Venezuela's democrats, led by acting president Juan Guaidó, and encouraged others to follow.  He can't be a good guy as chief of Venezuela's feared internal intelligence agency, but his exit was helpful.  A few days ago, President Trump lifted sanctions on him.

Now his deputy turns up dead in some Caracas hotel room.  And he was the guy who handled a lot of secrets that Maduro would not have wanted to get out.

Nobody thinks it was an accident.  Figuera himself, in the statement he put out, writes: "Do you not see the practical execution of state terrorism that Maduro uses to remain in power?"

It comes against a dual backdrop that might just mean the death squads are going to stay busy:

1. The Venezuelans themselves on all sides believe that getting the military to defect from Maduro over to the democratic forces is the key to getting Maduro out of there.  That's why the democratic Venezuelans (and the U.S. and Europe) are all onboard for encouraging the generals to defect.  A concerted campaign for that has been going on all year.

2. Maduro knows that, too — which is why the Venezuelan military has become a Soviet-style internal terror organization.  For all the evil they wreak on the locals on the outside, conditions are even more terror-filled on the inside, kind of like Beria's NKVD or Yagoda's OGPU, or Dzerzhinsky's Cheka.

According to a recent Reuters report, which began with an extended story about the extreme Animal Farm–style creepiness of the organization:

The incident is just one of many anecdotes that offer insight as to how the Maduro regime — under tutelage of the Cuban Intelligence Directorate, according to the U.S. — manages to keep a tight grip on its military. Such credible threats of arrest, torture and even death to those who veer off course or their loved ones are among the extreme measures used to keep the rank-and-file in line.

The other tactic for ensuring loyalty at the higher levels of the military brass comes through promises of riches. Key military officers often get a piece of profits that come as a result of corruption and criminal endeavors, including drug trafficking, according to U.S. officials.

Such tactics, which have been effective in Cuba for six decades, are making it difficult to get rid of Maduro. But the underlying question in Venezuela: is the military really loyal to the regime — or its own survival?

The pick-off of the general suggests that the Maduroites are playing a very dirty, very fourth-world game.  The death squad–style killing raises questions about what the man in his sensitive position knew and whether he was going to blow the lid off the Maduro regime in some way, maybe before defecting.

It certainly speaks to the foulness of the socialist regime, which up till now has mostly been reported in the press as solely a matter of economic privation.

Actually, it's about violence, and violence in the name of maintaining socialist power.  The ends always justify the means in the matter of preserving what they shout is "socialism or death."  And in this case, they wheeled out the death, and not for the first time — there have been other generals who have died under suspicious circumstances over potential defections or even rebellions.  Such a putrid, indefensible regime.

Yet here we are, with useful idiots such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, all staying firm in their defense of this death-squad regime.

This is what they are defending.  What a pretty picture. 

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