The Managers of Chaos in Venezuela

By Yaimi Ravelo on April 20, 2024 in Havana

Ramon Capote, photo: Yaimi Ravelo

An interview with Cuban journalist and researcher Raúl Antonio Capote, former double agent who infiltrated the CIA and author of the book “Guarimbas. Los gestores del caos” (Guarimbas. The managers of chaos)

Venezuela is once again approaching presidential elections, scheduled for next July 28 according to the National Electoral Council (CNE) under the protection of the Constitution of the Republic. Since the announcement of the candidacies by the different political parties, some media outlets echoed a new media campaign in conspiracy with the Venezuelan right wing in order to discredit Venezuela’s electoral system, after having lost that small political faction, all kinds of actions in violation of the Constitution and of a terrorist nature: assassination attempts, economic and communicational war, paramilitarism, guarimbas, disregard for the National Assembly and the Government. They have tried everything to “take over the power” of the rich Bolivarian nation.

To address this issue of vital interest in the counter-hegemonic struggle of information, Resumen Latinoamericano talked to Cuban journalist and researcher Raúl Antonio Capote, a former double agent who infiltrated the CIA, who dismantles in his books and publications the true origin of the actions against progressive governments in Latin America.

Yaimi Ravelo: President Nicolás Maduro denounced a new media campaign against Venezuela on April 1st, through the TV program “Con Maduro”. In this program Maduro made reference to “Guarimbas. Los gestores del caos” (Guarimbas. The managers of chaos), a book of your authorship in which he precisely relates the origin of this type of attacks against the Bolivarian Revolution.

Raul Capote: This subject must always be seen as a whole, that is the sense of the book and of the work I have been doing during the last years based on my personal experience, also as a researcher, historian and analyst. Because Venezuela is a classic case of how unconventional wars are really fought today.

Venezuela has been for years the victim of unconventional warfare and for years, against all logic of the empire, Venezuela has resisted.

Honestly speaking, very few people in the continent believed at the time, that once Chavez disappeared from the political scene due to his death, there could be a substitute capable of giving continuity to the Bolivarian Revolution.

Very few people believed in the Venezuelan people’s capacity to resist and above all  Nicolás Maduro’s capacity to withstand the avalanche that came upon him; mainly the US government and the CIA pulling the strings from the US.

They saw the golden opportunity with the physical disappearance of Commander Chávez to put an end to the Bolivarian Revolution. All the new methods and tactics of unconventional warfare against Venezuela were used for the first time.

For example, in the book I defend the idea that when talking about non-conventional wars in Latin America there are serious differences with what is said and how this same type of war happens in Europe.

Almost all the analyses that exist are very European, it is necessary to be informed about what happened there because the first soft coups, that is, this history of soft coups prepared by the CIA were in the countries of the former Soviet Union, the initial target of this type of color revolutions.

They were joining a group of theories that were premiered in Europe, it was the same imperialist war as always, adapted to the new conditions in the world. How to continue with their system of aggression and domination using new methods, obtaining better results with less cost, was the essence of it.

YR: What was the cost in terms of international policy to the image of imperialism?

RC: Very little, practically none, if we compare the results. They were the liberators, they made their debut against the countries of Europe. The famous Arab Spring was prepared and developed, a whole process in Tunisia and later what happened against Libya and Gaddafi, which is a classic example. It is necessary to study what happened in the Arab world, what happened in Europe; because it gives you the measure of how they were developing and how they were learning from each of the places where they were executing this type of war, and how they were perfecting it.

Look at Gene Sharp’s first manual, “Manual for a Revolution without Violence” or “Overthrowing a Dictatorship”, a manual of 50 strategies on how to overthrow a government, how to “overthrow a dictatorship” -as they say-, they were developing from the first attempts and the first coups, they were incorporating new tactics and new ways of doing it.

YR: Do you believe that Venezuela is a new laboratory for perfecting coup attempts in Latin America?

RC: Exactly, how to do it in Latin America? They started trying the method that has been done everywhere else and it didn’t work.

YR: What did they add to the Venezuelan laboratory?

RC: They incorporated a group of elements that begin their development in the continent. And I think a very important element against Latin America; was the lawfare, that is, the judicial war, the attempt to judicially condemn the leaders of the Latin American left in general.

The facts against the political leadership of Venezuela, Maduro has been falsely accused everywhere, he has been defamed through the media, because the lawfare is linked to a whole media narrative to discredit him. They have used the law, the international system of law to try to remove him from power through accusations of all kinds.

That is very much linked to a war that they develop and it is one of the first elements of this type of strategy, it is the assassination of character.

It is an old CIA strategy that is not new, they have it in their unconventional warfare manual since the beginning of time. In other words, if you destroy the credit of a leader or a nation, you have destroyed him. They call that kind of operation in psychology: “the straw man”. You build a “straw man”, you attack that symbolic construction you have made and you accuse him of all the evils. And as you dominate, because you are the owner of the media, the image that is multiplied and imposed on the audiences of that leader and of that country is terrible.

That is what they started to apply in Venezuela with all the irons hot.

YR: Did they start applying these methods when Maduro won the elections for the first time in 2013?

RC: They started the war against credit with Chávez. Now, against Maduro they have made it into geometric dimension, that is going to be one of the most important elements. The judicial war and the attack against the country’s reputation, against the Bolivarian Revolution, the country’s institutions and leaders.

So that if tomorrow an assassination were to be committed against any of the people of that leadership, or against the highest leadership of the country, there would be a justification.

You have already built a straw horse, to which you have attributed all the evils of the world, and if tomorrow that person is the victim of an act of hatred, they will place it in the media as the fruit of popular indignation.

The narrative of popular indignation is another element they incorporate, because they talk about the press and the role of the media, we know the role of the media. The big media conglomerates are another of the great elements of unconventional warfare.

Another essential factor of unconventional warfare is social networks. But within that, there is this element of discredit, the attack on credit.

It has two levels, building a negative image of the person that justifies any action against him and the other is to affect that person psychologically. A person who is a victim of constant bullying, who is constantly being attacked in social networks, who they try to discredit all the time, something they do not only against political leaders, but also against artists, writers and against all those who are linked in any way to the Revolution. They do it in Venezuela and all over the world, so that people give up supporting the Revolution.

All this is being played out in the midst of a full-fledged economic war, which is the other important element.

YR: Before the intensification of U.S. sanctions against Venezuela there was an important element that was to generate violence, the infamous guarimbas. Is there evidence that the CIA was behind the guarimbas and the coup attempt against Maduro in February 2014?

photo: Yaima Ravelo

RC: During my infiltration work in the CIA I had the opportunity to meet many of those who were also working against Venezuela. Since 2001 they were training the mercenaries of the counterrevolution, they do not improvise anything, they work and make long-term strategic plans, they make prospective studies for different scenarios and begin to prepare the conditions for each of those scenarios even 10 or 15 years before.

They have been preparing for a long time the elements that should take place in this type of actions. You mentioned the guarimbas and violence, but this is an element that is incorporated with more force especially after the Maidan, because remember that previously they wanted to give the image that they were peaceful demonstrations, but in Venezuela they begin to apply the narrative of popular indignation, to build the image that the indignant people are acting out of that.

They do it against Venezuela, against Latin America, another element is the use of paramilitaries, drug traffickers, criminal gangs. These are elements that are being applied in Latin America and are being used for the first time against Venezuela.

Venezuela is the laboratory of all that. The most interesting thing in my opinion, here there is a change, one can think that it is the mercenaries of the counterrevolution who go out to the streets, and yes it is true, those who activate the counterrevolution are there directing all that, they are the people trained and prepared to act against the government, the people who are ready to commit a group of acts. But they begin to use an element which are the criminal gangs, the youth lumpen groups, often very young people. We experienced it here on July 11 in Cuba, and they do it through social networks. They are not young people linked to mercenary recruitment, these people do not possibly have any link with any counterrevolutionary group.

They are people who, through big data studies due to the development of technology and their mastery of the media, identify themselves in social networks. They create groups on WhatsApp, on Facebook, they create groups by common interests that can be something as simple as soccer or any other element, music for example. And those young people begin to integrate through that music group where these elements that are in their search within their study appear, they contact them, they offer them money, they offer recharges to cell phones, they mobilize them through elements that are far away from political elements. These young people do not possibly have any kind of political life, behind is the counterrevolution in the background, they subtly introduce elements so that they reveal themselves, always blaming the government for the economic problems that afflict them. Until the depoliticized youth, with deprivation, family dysfunctions, disconnected from studies, from work and marginalized, are transformed into the cheap labor force needed by imperialism, capable of committing even atrocities.

We saw young people acting, putting the chains, putting the cables, killing people, burning people in the street, we saw it in Venezuela; they are capable of displaying an irrational and savage violence. They are also incited to commit acts of violence of all kinds.

We saw it here, we saw a boy being told: I will charge your cell phone if you paint a mural on the street, put a sign against the president, the second time they tell him: throw a stone against a shop window, and the third time they tell him: burn the school or burn that house, burn whatever.

There begins to be an increase in the levels of violence of these people with whom they intercommunicate through the groups and through the activists of the counterrevolution in the background they begin to act in the street, looting, generating an element that is very important for this type of project to take place and succeed by generating chaos.

YR: The Bolivarian Revolution and Chavismo managed to overcome that stage of violence and Maduro has achieved a popular support and a leadership that the United States did not expect, then they blockaded Venezuela and intensifying the economic war even more. What similarity does all this have with what is happening today in Cuba?

RC: We were talking about chaos, the purpose of this type of war is to generate chaos, such a state of ungovernability, that the people reach levels of desperation and levels of disappointment, due to shortages, shortages, lack of medicines of all kinds, to a state that ends up committing suicide, acting against itself, which is what they are planning to happen.

They are going to apply the policy of maximum pressure against the Maduro government, by all means.

The violent attack against the economy, trying to close everywhere the access to finances, the export and import of products, the sabotage against the electric system. Look at the similarities, when you see the scheme with which they do it, you will see that this is repeated everywhere, with different nuances, but it will be repeated everywhere.

The creation of a page from abroad that dictates the price of the Venezuelan currency and the dollar, we see it here with El Toque, the model was not invented against Cuba, that is to say, it is a model that is applied against Venezuela that gives them results in the midst of a very difficult economic context.

Many enlightened economists and financiers appear and tell you: no, but I believe that they cannot blame inflation on what a web page says.

No, it is that they are taking advantage of a real economic situation to set prices, to set the price of the currency and the price of the dollar from outside.

YR: Who is taking advantage?

RC: There is the CIA; that is a purely CIA project, a strategy that they have continued to use and they are trying to use it against everything. Against Cuba, for example, at this moment they are not only doing it with foreign currency, they are even trying to manipulate the price of products. There are pages of this system of counterrevolutionary pages that are dictating even the price of pork, the price of market products, putting a parallel price to the one that may exist in the real world in order to create a total distortion of the country’s currency and to help create greater inflation, in other words, a way of collaborating firmly, with the certainty of adding more discomfort to the people, because it is an issue that directly affects the population.

They are going all out against Venezuela thinking that the Bolivarian Revolution will not resist but the Bolivarian Revolution does resist. Maduro is growing as a political leader in spite of the immense campaign of discredit that is being waged against him, presenting him as a worker. But sometimes the best plans also have their shortcomings, because Maduro in the mind of the CIA, in the mind of an oligarch, a worker is someone despicable to them. Presenting Maduro to the people as a humble man, as a bus driver, far from making him look like a failure generates more empathy, it is the clumsiness with which they also analyze this kind of things. Trying to discredit him has had the opposite effect.

Maduro earns prestige as a political figure not only within Venezuela but also abroad, because of the way in which Venezuela overcomes that very hard stage of economic war, of discredit, of paramilitary war, the arrest of some Venezuelan officials abroad, accusations of drug trafficking as part of this lawfare against Maduro and against several of the cadres of the Venezuelan leadership, of the Bolivarian Revolution, and they do not succeed.

In the end, this strategy is defeated, as it happens to us, one of the theses I deal with in the book is that. None of these things work when you direct them against a country that has an authentic Revolution, they could not do it in Nicaragua, they tried it in Nicaragua with all their might, they could not do it simply because they have an authentic Revolution. Therefore, it did not take hold.

The same thing happens against Venezuela, they have been able to obtain absolutely no result, it does terrible, frightful damage, but they are not able to bring down the government.

And against Cuba they try the same thing and they do not achieve results here either, although of course, it has a terrible effect on the people.

What they seek at all costs is to present any of these three countries: Venezuela, Cuba or Nicaragua, as failed states. Cuba is even labeled, they repeat it constantly through social networks, through the mass media, trying to build the image that we are failed states.

What would that allow, what would allow the fact that it could be interpreted by the international public opinion that these countries do not work, what would happen? It would be opening the doors to the U.S. military.

YR: A campaign is now being launched that tries to discredit the participatory democracy that Venezuela enjoys, a mediocre campaign, at the worst moment for the Venezuelan right wing. Maduro’s popular support and growing leadership in the Bolivarian nation is more visible all the time.

RC: It is nothing more than an act of desperation, they tried to build an image of an anti-democratic Venezuela, they have been doing it for a long time and it is going badly. They are facing a country that has long experience, we are already talking about more than 20 years of Revolution facing this kind of things. Venezuela has great experience in confronting and unmasking this type of operations. Just as they made a study of where they could hit the Bolivarian Revolution, a scenario like that was obviously prepared.

They tried to put these people of the counterrevolution in the limelight, to present a supposedly victorious opposition to Maduro and to create a crisis situation, because they knew perfectly well that the Venezuelan electoral system was not going to accept the candidacy of these people because they did not meet the requirements. They did it out of time and they did it in breach of all the rules because they wanted them, in effect, to be rejected.

They were convinced that these candidates were not going to be accepted, if they managed to get them accepted by a mistake of the Venezuelan people, all the better, they would have managed to get a candidate of their choosing. But they knew that this was not going to happen and from there on they would generate an international condemnation of Venezuela in order to discredit the Venezuelan electoral process and justify any action against Venezuela.

It is not about an electoral system that is excluding the opposition, it is about a maneuver of the U.S. government trying to create a conflict, trying to create an image before the world to discredit the electoral process and justify any action against Venezuela, because they know that the right wing is not going to win the elections in any way.

Maduro has become a very tough nut, I really believe they underestimated him and he ended up being the great Latin American leader he is today, with satisfaction we can say that Chávez put him there, he saw him as the leader of great strength he is, he did not put him there for the sake of it.

They will continue trying to discredit the electoral process because it is the card they have to play, they cannot do otherwise, they will try to discredit it by all possible means, it is very likely that if he wins as we all want and we think it will happen, they will do what they did in other places, sing fraud as they are used to do, I am sure that Maduro will win again at the head of this Bolivarian patriotic movement and that the people will triumph. The best of the Venezuelan people will triumph.

Yaimi Ravelo is a correspondent and photojournalist for Resumen Latinoamericano en Cuba

Source: Cuba en Resumen