Secret dissident in Venezuela tells the story of how Venezuela self-colonized for Cuba

A lot of people don't think Venezuela's story is important, a useful warning of how a big successful state can become a vassal of communist tyrants. But with Joe Biden in the saddle, brought in with fraudulent elections same as Venezuela's dictators were, handing out cheap citizenship to swell the voter rolls for the left, enacting cancel culture, allowing violent mobs to enforce a sort of 'order,' ruling by decree, purging the military, and packing the courts, maybe that could change. After all, that's what happened to once-free Venezuela.

Worst of all, its leaders had so little faith in the Venezuelan people they sold their country to a dictator -- a really filthy one with one of the world's vilest human rights records and history of economic meltdowns -- Fidel Castro of Cuba, and then robbed and impoverished their country.

So the story is coming out, from a secret dissident buried deep inside the Chavista regime. In a new book, featured by indispensible Cuban-American blog Babalu, Alberto de la Cruz has found this gem, and he begins:

No matter how much they try to portray U.S. relations with Cuba’s Castro dictatorship as a “relic of the Cold War,” the reality is long after the end of the Cold War, the Cuban regime continues to be a threat to the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere. You only need look at the Castro dictatorship’s invasion and colonization of Venezuela.

Via Infobae (my translation):

A mole in the Chavista regime reveals how Cuba infiltrated the government of Venezuela to consolidate a police state in exchange for oil

It was an economic subsidy, but above all a transfer of sovereignty: That is how “The Consensual Invasion” describes the relationship between Venezuela and Cuba since the time of Hugo Chavez. “It was a unique phenomenon, one of the most peculiar in the history of Latin America and geopolitics throughout the word,” said Diego G. Maldonado — a pseudonym used for safety in a country where freedom of expression is persecuted. “It’s the voluntary submission of a rich nation with an area of more than 900,000 square kilometers and 30 million citizens to one that is eight times smaller with three times fewer citizens.”

The book offers an overview of how Cuba infiltrated the Venezuelan government without resistance or conditions and in many cases was welcomed. “Their men are in place all over the country. In the presidential palace, always at the side of the leader; in the ministries, institutes, and state-run companies,” said the author. “They share in the management of the ports, they have their own aircraft hanger at the presidential ramp at the Simon Bolivar International airport, and they have infiltrated the army and naval bases, all thanks to a secret military convention signed in 2008. Furthermore, they’re deployed all over the national territory leading the main social programs.”

The piece is amazing, full of details of how the Castroites consolidated power in another country, with a sorry excuse for a leader, Hugo Chavez, serving as Castro's butt boy, handing his country over to another nation, a miserable failure of a nation, with pro-offered gifts of Venezuela's national treasure, and its entire national ministries. We don't even know of another nation that has done anything as grotesque as that. Normally, these things are the result of conquest. Chavez enjoyed being the conqueree, even as he consorted with Joe Kennedy around the issue of cheap or free oil, and blustered at the United Nations and on television about the 'smell of sulfur' and "Mr. Bush, you are a donkey," as the media ate it up.

Babalu has a fine translation of the first part of the long article that was published in Spanish on Infobae. If you go to Google Translate, you can look at all of it, but you will need to open three pages to read through the translation. Here are a couple of choice passages from Google Translate:

"Under the facade of humanitarian cooperation, a political operation was mounted to subsidize Cuba and indoctrinate the poorest Venezuelans," the author of "The Consensual Invasion" denounced the passage of 220,000 island workers through Venezuela. (REUTERS / Manaure Quintero)
The consensual invasion illustrated: “The state oil company will pay up to USD 13,000 a month for the work of a Cuban doctor who will barely receive USD 300 as a salary. The profit exceeds USD 150,000 per year per head ”.
...and...
One of the characteristics of the Cuban economy has been the direct control of business management exercised by the Revolutionary Armed Forces. And that model seems to be copied in Venezuela:
 
"With Chávez in power, the military leadership acquired unprecedented economic power," summarized the author of The Consent Invasion.
 
“The military was in charge of managing foreign exchange, public banking, the tax collection office, the Treasury, state companies and key sectors of the economy. It is no secret to anyone that several of those officials today are millionaires, "he added. “The military administers the country's customs and handles activities such as the importation and distribution of food. But in addition, Maduro opened the possibility that the armed forces have their own corporation of companies with more than a dozen companies, among which an oil company stands out, the Compañía Anónima Militar de Industrias Mineras Petrolímeros y de Gas, Camimpeg, a black box of which little is known ”.
 
And that without talking about other openly criminal activities, he recalled: “Much has been said about the participation of the military in activities of smuggling gasoline into Colombia, exploitation of mines in the south of the country and drug trafficking, but what we know about these issues is from the works of other colleagues ”.
...and...


"The influence of the Cuban government in Venezuela remains intact," said the author of the book. "They no longer even bother to deny it. In 2020 Maduro incorporated the Cuban ambassador into his council of ministers."

Two things of note for historic context are worth adding:

-Castro has always had his eyes on taking over the Andean states, Venezuela and Colombia, dating from the 1940s in his history as a rioter in Colombia, but also in his bid in the 1960s to send troops to invade Venezuela. The late great petroleum scientist and energy expert, Emma Broussard, who knew oil like the back of her hand (I've talked to her) wrote all about the Castro dreams in her superb 2001 book: Power and Petroleum, Venezuela, Cuba and Colombia: A Troika? She was making her prophetic warnings around the same time as former Venezuelan central banker, Ruth Krivoy, who scared the hell out of a room full of hedge fund managers in New York with her warnings aboout Chavista intentions to serve as the destabilizer for the region. I wrote about that here. Around this time, too, James Whelan, author of a masterpiece history of Chile, called Out of the Ashes, I believe also noted elsewhere that Castro was behind the trouble in that country in the early 1970s and took the lessons from it and applied them to a slower march takeover in Venezuela. Bottom line: The warnings from those in the know about Castro taking over Venezuela and using it as his skinsuit, were there.

-The signs were there early that the merger of the two nations was on. When I visited Caracas and the Venezuelan interior in late 2005, a major story in the then-still-free press was about a new flag going up on government buildings showing a merger of the Venezuelan and Cuban flags. On that trip, I saw hotel rooms filled with Cuban soldiers, guarded by Venezuelan military troops (I spent a couple hours talking to them on the sidewalk about just what they were doing). I also encountered a cattle veterinarian on a flight from the interior who described how Cubans ran the Venezuelan agriculture industry, dictating which cattle could be raised, and taking out the phones of the Venezuelan officials so that only Cubans could control communications. I saw empty medical kiosks of projects supposedly run by Cubans to help the poor (they weren't), and met Cuban dissidents who fled Cuba who, now in Caracas, said the course of events was very familiar. I wrote about that on Babalu years ago.

The bottom line is that it happened, and the result is precisely like Cuba. It's a hellhole no one can believe, because like a lot of colonial masters, the Cubans bled their vassal state dry. 

And they are still in power, and still trying to take over many countries. Next time Joe & Co., comes out to make nice with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, note that it's Cuba whom he's really succoring.

Image: Pedro, via Flickr, with use of Jean Ventura @jean_ventura photo repost // CC BY-SA 2.0