Former intelligence officer says Russian military base exists in Venezuela


Santa Cruz in Bolivia — An exiled Chavez general and former director of the Bolivian National Intelligence Service, Manuel Figuera announced on January 17 at two Russian military facilities in Carabobo and Miranda, Venezuela. Revealed the location.

In a letter written a few days later that Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he could not “confirm or eliminate” the possibility of military buildup in Latin America, Figuera was in Valencia, and another in Mansanares. ..

“They are playing the same old game, Russia and the West,” political analyst Fernando Menendez told The Epoch Times.

Figuera gained public attention in 2019 as one of Venezuela’s leading military personnel in support of the unlucky attempt by former Speaker of Parliament Juan Guaidó to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.

Epoch Times Photo
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, surrounded by party members, will speak at a press conference in Caracas on December 7, 2020. (Ariana Cubillos / Associated Press)

Prior to the coup, Figuera was one of Maduro’s supreme intelligence officers.

Figuera also argued that the sole purpose of Russia’s military installations in Venezuela was “to threaten US national security.”

On January 22, Russian ambassador to Caracas, Sergei Merik Bagdasarov, replied that it was impossible to operate a military base in a South American country.

“Look at the Venezuelan Constitution. The Venezuelan Constitution clearly states that it cannot and must not exist. [foreign] A military base in its territory. “

In addition, the ambassador accused the United States of trying to thwart their right to choose an alliance different from the independence of Latin American countries.

Historically, the ban on foreign-operated military possessions is outlined in Article 13 of Venezuela. Constitution, It also prohibits the transfer, transfer, or lease to a foreign country, either temporarily or even partially.

However, there are loopholes in this rule, according to the Citizenship President of the Armed Forces Rossio San Miguel. He said foreign troops could occupy Venezuelan bases with the explicit permission of the parliament.

“Nicholas Maduro’s criminal regime” is a threat not only to the United States, but to Latin America and the rest of the free world, Figuera said.

In 2019, the currently exiled general met with Maduro on a regular basis on national security and intelligence issues. However, after being ordered to imprison and torture opponents of the socialist regime, Figuera betrayed the controversial leader and supported Guaidó’s coup. When the attempted expulsion failed, he went to the United States.

Russia’s investment in Venezuela and long-standing support for the Maduro administration have been compared to policies in Syria and the strengthening of President Bashar al-Assad.

Both countries rely on Russia for their important military assets. But unlike Syria, Russia’s alliance with Venezuela’s Maduro provides them with an important foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

Menendez added that Venezuela is an ideal place to hide troops due to the country’s vast land and dense jungle terrain.

On January 14, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Morano said he had been aware of Russian troops in Venezuela for months.

Morano said his strong military presence along the shared border served two purposes: to combat drug trafficking and to protect it from “the final arrival of Russian troops.”

Autumn Spredemann

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Autumn is a South American-based reporter who focuses primarily on Latin American issues in the Epoch Times.