Chavez mobilizes a network of armed commandos in order to control a possible adverse voteIASW | Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 | No Comments »
Hugo Chavez is training cells of “militant revolutionaries,” partly from the so-called “colectivos” (armed street gangs), to control a possible adverse vote in the October 7 presidential elections.
With poll results that make it possible to believe that Henrique Capriles has a real chance of winning the Venezuelan elections, Chavez seems to have entrusted his fait to the direct action of mobilization networks (Redes de Movilización Inmediata or REMI) dedicated to “early and advanced response” according to internal documents accessed by ABC.
The REMI’s functions include aborting the opposition’s rallies before these can take shape, “detection of opposition leaders, organization of street protests and resistance, and territorial control”. These mobilization networks copy their tactics from Iranian Basij units whose performance was decisive in aborting the 2009 “green revolution”.
“The most dangerous element in the [upcoming] elections is the REMI network,” said an army colonel related to the development of contingency plans for the Venezuelan elections who asked to remain anonymous to avoid reprisals. The colonel said that starting in June some 8,000 AK-103 assault rifles (the new version of the Russian AK-47 manufactured in Venezuela) were handed out.
Not all REMI’s members – the network already existed but it has been trained and expanded for this new mission – would engage in violent activities. Many of the 3,800 that until July had participated in training could limit themselves to monitoring processes, but there are other functions designed for cells consisting of small teams of five to seven members which would require violent action.
In the documents obtained by ABC there are no explicit references to weapons and the entire plan is presented as a response to possible alterations of the electoral process by the opposition or members of the military who oppose Chavez, but the specific functions for situations that may arise are unequivocal. The documents mention “injuries or deaths”.
Their very presence in the electoral process can not have any other objective than to act lawlessly. The custody of the electoral process, custody of the votes and their transportation, known as “Plan Republica” has historically been handled by the army. Now, interestingly and for the first time, the army shares this role with chavista militias (composed of armed civilians with military training). The army will be deployed to 51% of polling stations while the militias will cover 49% of the stations, specifically in many of the places where the opposition is strong.
“If they kill civilians this would represent an act of civilians against civilians, meaning that the Chavez government would not be liable.” That statement would suffice to justify any incidents on election day. It is therefore difficult not to see a different motivation for the REMI apart from maintaining order on that day. “They have no institutions behind them. If they kill civilians it will be an act of civilians against civilians for which reason the Chavez government will not have to be accountable to international requirements,” said one of ABC’s sources.
REMI’s first mission is “social intelligence” including “the early detection of suspicious police or military movements” and the “identification of opponents”. They will have a set of codes, including the following: low turnout (A3) or high influxes (A4); arrested, injured or killed (A17), presence of military opponents (Z1), appearance of Miranda Police (Z7), Carabobo (Z8) or Chacao (Z9); arrival of armored cars (J8) and observation airplanes or helicopters (J9), warning (C1), siege (C2), cantonment in agreed points (C3), located near the target (C7), and advance on assigned objectives (C9).
The instructions advise that “short codes should be combined with short sentences” and cite specific examples such as confrontation with Z8K (armored). During the last exercise of their communication and liaison system, held on September 14, members were instructed to “exchange text messages through geo-differentiated cell phones” 0416-6366078, 0416-9282002 and similar numbers finished in 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. They were also instructed to simultaneously use line 800: 080 028 377 200”. Email messages will be sent to email@example.com. REMI members with portable radios must report news with previously constructed encoded sentences.
The twitter account @comunicadores21, maintained on a low profile thus far, and the website comunicadoresenaccion2012.blogspot.com will also be used, although the actual content will be ciphered using the previously mentioned codes.
The instructions warn that “towards the afternoon, before and during the counting process, there will be greater tension and opponents can provoke confrontation, especially in voting centers where the outcome is in dead heat or where there are very tight results”.
Previously they could use the strategy of “killing votes by blackout” a maneuver that the manual attributes to the opposition as a possible ply to prevent the Chavista vote, but the great detail with which the process is described raises red flags (branches and trees falling on power lines, damaged electricity poles, etc).
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