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  • Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are seen during a joint news conference in Bogota, Colombia February 6, 2018.

    Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are seen during a joint news conference in Bogota, Colombia February 6, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 February 2018
War preparations already began.

International media loudly spread the idea that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip to Latin America and the Caribbean was designed to align the region against Venezuela and pressure Caracas by increasing economic sanctions, but Tillerson was also trying to push the regional leaders to support the United States and Colombia's intentions of a military aggression against Venezuela. That's the reason he visited some of his closest allies, including those that have been particularly aggressive against Venezuela. The visit to Jamaica, a close Caribbean ally to the United States, had the aim to attract the smaller countries of the region who have so far firmly resisted all kinds of threats from the United States, pushing them to stop their support for Venezuela. In the political realm, Jamaica was the least important in Tillerson's trip, but it was the most precious stop in diplomatic terms.

However, the tour main objective, as Tillerson made clear before starting traveling, was to counter Rusia and China increasing influence in Latin America and the Caribbean, expressed in a strong and progressive cooperation agenda. It's not a coincidence that Tillerson's trip had taken place almost immediately after the Second Ministerial China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) forum in Santiago de Chile, with the presence of China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

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In this context, the main strategic objective was Venezuela. In that logic, showing its disdain for the Caribbean countries, Mexico represented the possibility of knowing how much oil could they provide to “buy off” the leaders of those island nations, in order to “free them from the obligation” of receiving Venezuelan oil and to keep trying the diplomatic way towards the Seventh Summit of the Americans, to take place in Lima next April. He traveled with the same goal to Peru, a country where the current president is allied with the former dictator Fujimori's party. Peru will host the international meeting, which intents to expel Venezuela from the Panamerican system. Argentina was inspected by Tillerson to reaffirm it would take the responsibility of politically conducting the aggression, before the imminent exit of Bachelet and Heraldo, who played that role until now, as the United States are certain that Piñera, his Chancellor Ampuero and the pro-Pinochet cabinet that will take over Chile's government, are not capable of leading the aggression against Venezuela.

Just as Jamaica was Tillerson's most important stop in diplomatic terms, Colombia was the most transcendental stop in operative terms for refining the details of the aggression. I point to the evidence.

If we accept Von Clausewitz' core idea, which says that “war is the extension of politics by other means,” to which Lenin adds “by violent means,” we would have to affirm that the “order was given,” as is said in military terms. From Colombia (could've been from Santos or from Tillerson), the opposition received the order to not sign the agreement previously reached with the government in Santo Domingo, having the Dominican President Danilo 

Medina and Spanish former Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as witnesses. If we see things that way, we would have to recognize that when Santos, Macri and others say they will not recognize the Venezuelan elections' outcomes, they are telling the opposition they wouldn't be recognized even if they won, because war is the only way they know. That's why the agreement wasn't signed.

War preparations already began. In Catatumbo, a North of Santander Department region bordering Venezuela, specifically in the Tibu and Tarra communities, illegal armed groups have taken over control of security, without the army, police or state institutions doing anything to avoid it. These terrorist groups seized the opportunity, as the FARC 33 front disappeared from the zone, to operate with complete impunity. In the same department's Villa del Rosario, the “Los Pelusos” armed group and the self-referred Gaitanist Self-defense of Colombia (AGC) are taking over six neighborhoods (Galan, La Palmita, Pueblito Español, Montevideo, Primero de Mayo and San Jose) of this 90 thousand people city, in which they have been deploying to prepare Venezuela's invasion, in front of the eyes of the army and Colombia's authorities.

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There is a presence of armed groups in eight of the ten communes that compose the city of Cucuta. Paramilitary has control over areas in Los Patios, Villa del Rosario, San Cayetano, La Parada, Juan Frio, La Uchema, Palo Gordo, Ragonvalia and Puerto Santander under the command of Luis Jesus “Cochas” Escamilla Melo, chief of the Paramilitary Army of the North of Santander (EPN). The Los Rastrojos group also operate in the border city. In Venezuela, the group has a presence in Llano Jorge and San Antonio del Tachira. Despite the people's call for the national, regional and local government, the authorities suspiciously ignore this obvious violence against the citizens and threat to Venezuela.

Drills have been seen in the US Military bases in Colombia. Also, 415 US Air Force members arrived illegally to Panama, before the government had authorized their presence in the country, as the Panamanian political analyst from Panama Marco A. Gandasegui H. has pointed out before. Also, in June of last year, the military did the Tradewinds 2017 drills in Barbados, less than 1,100 kilometers away from the Venezuelan coast, and the AmazonLog17 drills in the Brazilian Amazon, with troops from Brazil, Colombia and Peru, November last year, only 700 kilometers from the border with Venezuela.

The most elemental theory shows that, independently from the characteristics of a foreign military aggression, the success depends on the existence of an internal front. That's how it was in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lybia. In Yemen, they didn't have it and they had to hire war mercenaries. By coincidence, the biggest recruitment came from Chile (from former members of Pinochet's repressive forces) and Colombia (from members of the several paramilitary groups that operate in Colombia). The problem is that the United States wasn't able to build that required internal front. Nobody imagines Henry Ramos Allup, Julio Borges or Henrique Capriles commanding troops secretly or from some mountain in the national territory. That's why they gave Oscar Perez the role the opposition leaders couldn't assume. Those who were not capable of leading the movement against the government, nor managing a democratic parliament, nor taking a street insurrection to victory, and not even attract a sector of the armed forces for their obscure plans, they would hardly be able to conduct an armed group.

That's the responsibility the Imperial Chancellor has given to Santos, the Colombian oligarchy and its government. Before, in Obama's times, he was ordered to make peace with the FARC in order to dismantle one of the only military forces, along with the ELN, that could've countered the actions of the paramilitary army protected by Uribe and Santos.

However, the show began before Tillerson's arrival to Bogota: already in November last year, Lorenzo Mendoza was in that city. A month after, the former prosecutor Luisa Ortega, her husband, someone called Ferrer, the “union leader” Marcela Maspero and the “magistrates” sent by Ramos Allup and Borges, that wander around the world looking for something to do and how to survive, reunited also in Bogota before New Year's Eve to try to find legal foundations for the invasion. A month later, well-known people from Venezuelan opposition traveled to Bogota and reunited with radical Venezuelan groups in Usaquen, with support from Colombian authorities.

Colombia's Internal Revenue Service Minister Mauricio Cardenas said again in Davos, Suiza, that the fall of Maduro was inevitable and spoke about the necessity of an economic plan to deal with the situation. This is the same minister that has done nothing to solve his country's problem of 8 million displaced and relocated people. He also hasn't provided an answer for the Mocoa city's reconstruction, the capital of Putumayo department, almost a year after the tragedy that destroyed it.

In that same order, Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao, national secretary of the Social Pastoral of Colombia and member of the same political party that makes up the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, who under the command of Cardinal Parolin opposes Pope Francis, is setting his “human aid” for Venezuela plot, without saying anything of the thousand of wayuu children that die from malnutrition on a daily basis, or the hundreds of social and human rights activists that have been murdered in the last weeks in Colombia, the last of which was Temistocles Machado, who moved the country for his leadership and loyalty towards his community. Also, Henao and his mentor Santos don't speak about the abuses to Colombians that want to come back to their country from Venezuela, and who are segregated and harmed for confessing also having Venezuelan citizenship.

While Colombia falls apart, with a 10 percent unemployment rate; a virtual education strike in the next days ;and the fall of the Chirajara bridge (even though it was awarded with the national engineering prize) that no one will speak about, in spite of the 9 innocent Colombian citizens that died on the accident, because it was built by Coviandes, a company belonging to the richest person in the Colombia Carlos Sarmiento Angulo; and while a high, high ranking officer (so high people say that if he falls, the whole country will shake) protects himself cowardly in his armor after a rape accusation against him by a renowned journalist, Santos is worried about Venezuela.

The truth is his party is gone, he has no candidate and doesn't know what he's going to do to guarantee impunity at the brink of disaster... or he knows: he hopes to clean his sins directing the attack to Venezuela and seeking redemption from the north. He has until August 10. We must stop it, the Venezuelan people will stop it!

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