The following is a translation of a post at Runrun.es which contains an audio and a transcript of a meeting held in Lara state, Venezuela, in which the participants were generals of the Venezuelan armed forces.
This Youtube video (audio only) identifies the
generals, has running subtitles in Spanish
I listened to the full tape, and here are the main points I got out of the discussion:
- The generals believe the current wave of protests won´t stop, that eventually the National Guard and police will be overrun by the protests, and that Army, Navy and Air Force units will have to be employed.
- Maduro has given orders to contain the protests using a minimum of protester casualties, they are fully aware the opposition takes videos of the protest marches and the victims.
- They have a plan ready to move beyond the current situation by having Maduro issue an Emergency Order which will authorize the use of weapons to shoot protesters.
- The generals discussed the need to have snipers trained, psychologically tested, and prepared to shoot unarmed civilians.
- The generals discussed the need to secure bullets used to seed the scene, so that troops firing on protesters can claim they were fired upon (they seem to be preparing for a cover up investigation of a potential massacre).
- They seem worried about the lack of training among Army troops (so far the National Guard, police and paramilitary thugs are being used to contain the protesters).
- One of the generals felt they need field exercises, that planning the mobilization of the armed forces to stop protests isn´t enough.
- There seems to be a story line, implied in their conversation, that they are ready to throw the constitution out the window and do whatever is necessary to hold power.
- They feel there will be some within the armed forces who will turn sides and join the opposition, which is now backed by about 80 % of the population.
- They expect outside intervention, they think this will come because Venezuela has oil. This story line is hammered constantly by both the regime as well as the international left.
The original text, in Spanish, is here: http://runrun.es/rr-es-plus/310013/filtracion-oficiales-de-la-fanb-planean-usar-francotiradores-contra-manifestantes.html
The recording was loaded on Youtube, it´s available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpXxQNWlRE#action=share
Runrunes article starts:
An audio filtered to some international media reveals what was discussed at a meeting in which several high officials of the Bolivarian National Armed Force of Venezuela evaluate the use of snipers to control opposition protests.
The meeting would have been held at the headquarters of the Operational Zone of Integral Defense of Lara (ZODI-Lara), under the leadership of the commander of this branch, general of the National Guard José Rafael Torrealba Pérez. The debate among a group of officers from other forces raises the need to use snipers to "protect" the officials who are at the head of the crackdown on protests and to attack demonstrators.
In the audio we hear the official who leads the meeting, who would be General Torrealba Perez, say: "It will arrive at the moment where we are going to have to use it, and I want us to be ready for the moment we have to use it, because The President is not going to keep anything else in a green phase gentlemen. He already signed a range of operations, and what I said here with the commander Reyes, this is not going to be for the day 19 of April nor one more week later. We could be at the beginning of an urban subversive war and at that point in time only we will advance, the armed force, because the people, from what I see, whether the people are opposition or revolutionary, when they begin to see dead, because there are dead and they appear dead, everyone stays in their houses, gentlemen, they are going to remember me, they are going to remember me and the armed force is the one that is going to have to solve this mess. Then get ready with those military personnel who could act as snipers ... "
At the meeting, which took place approximately three weeks ago, one of the officers present would have recorded the conversation alarmed by the proposal of his colleagues. Among other revelations, the conversation among the military reveals not only the intention to use snipers in the repression and control of public order, but also the improvisation with which the Venezuelan Armed Forces is trying to control popular demonstrations against the Nicolás Maduro government. "My general apologize for interrupting you, we are not trained ... We are not trained do you know why we are not trained? Because we have neglected our functions a lot to attend collateral activities ... ", recognizes one of the officers, while another proposes to prepare.
At various points in the conversation they show the improvisation with which the control of public order is being handled within the Armed Forces and the lack of officials trained to perform various functions.
They also warn on two occasions that Venezuela is facing the beginning of an urban war: "The trend, the international scenario is that it will not be so, here they will continue until the intervention is justified because there is an energy issue, there are many , Then we will not fall into lying to each other, we are going to pass unfortunately, it was our generation's turn to live this conflict and we have to take it up to what our country is demanding. This is the beginning of a war gentlemen, unfortunately, " said one of the officers.
According to the register of deaths during demonstrations and looting made by Runrun.es, 35 of the 57 victims lost their lives as a result of head or thorax injuries caused by firearms.
General José Rafael Torrealba Pérez was the same one who admitted that in Lara the GNB worked in cooperation with the paramilitary groups backing the government.
In addition to Torrealba Pérez, the meeting included the Brigadier General of the National Guard, Hernán Enrique Hómez Machado; General of the Air Force, Carlos Enrique Quijada Rojas; General of the Army, Dilio Rafael Rodríguez Díaz; General of the Army, Joel Vicente Canelón and General of the Army Ivan Darío Lara Lander.
I have translated a portion, which follows:
General 1: From operations in the execution of constant operation ...
General 2: And I'll tell you why
General 1: Come on, wait, wait ...
General 2: The adrenaline that is generated, when one is in a moment like that, truthfully, that means temptation and the man's self control even when the National Guard has experience and has self-control over his performance, is given guidelines, there are training sessions, at the moment that he sees himself under a real threat, he is going to make use of what the state provided him, with what the job will be like.
You are not in the man you may have trained him, but you do not know what capacity he has to react at that time. So having the gun is a reaction, is an involuntary act of the natural man to react, is to say I have a gun and hit (blow to the table) and dam it they are attacking me, I try to respond, then that's why I used to say casually In the National Guard doctrine is increasingly focused on zero firearms in the alterations of public order, the checkpoint is after 6 pm and we can talk about it, is a critical condition because night comes so for that we are going to make use of the night vision equipment, so that the man is attentive, so he is observing, the dick is approaching somebody and it seems that he has a true firearm in his hands because suddenly after he neutralizes the threat it turns out when they investigate the man was holding a stick.
My General permission in addition to what you say legally, nor you can describe to him, to order the brigade to have a man with a gun back in the rear, because that is unconstitutional, if it is necessary to neutralize protesters it is not necessary to write it down, nor can we say they are behind the troops because the opposition is structured in an unconventional war. All they do is take the picture with an item or two, showing a man with a rifle behind the CRO, they use their items or their snipers and they will start to kill selectively and who will be responsible for the guys on duty. That rifle in the scene with that photo will be responsible as soon as information about dead and killed goes out there, or I'm not saying that the work is not done, but this is not handled, that a radiogram as my General is asking and legally as Brigade commander coordinates me… (this statement is garbled so I left a portion out).
General 1: When we talk about the use of a fucker called sniper has to be a guy who has the capabilities to fulfill those functions, I am not a lawyer, but this time I am making the opportunity for a meticulous observer, authorization to protect the troops that are in the streets and that they not be singled out for abuse of military authority.
As I said yesterday to the colonel every chief of operations you have out there, now you must protect them.
I suppose all those fuckers who are called snipers of our units have a psychological and psychological examination that guarantees us the commanders that the guy is fully aware, of his mental capacities, his control of critical situations, his positive attitude in the face of adverse situations, in short, a number of things, because that is the first thing that counts when a sniper kills a fucker.
You fired? If i shoot, who trained you? Who is your commander? How to ensure that the type is in full compliance with a sniper mission, etc.
We have to protect ourselves in our actions, what you tell me is true, the guy driven by the moment, there's a guy over there shooting, pum !, and he broke it. Then there comes an investigation. Was that guy prepared? Why did he shoot?
Find me the whole action, the fucking record. The sniper units, you who have snipers, you who have snipers, give the instructions to your commander and give them in writing because if you are not going to be caught, also true, give them in writing. Those snipers have to have, even yours, comrade, have to have a complete file, which ensures that the guy is in his rightful place to perform such missions beginning with a psychological examination.
General not identified: Expert shooters.
General 1: No, then they can´t be.
General not identified: Expert shooters.
General not identified: I respectfully commander
General not identified: I have a sniper company here and we have instructors certified by the national sniper school, and I put all units at your disposal, if you want to train certified snipers send me the candidates and we do a course, comrade, because if we do not back ourselves, then who will support us.
General not identified: My general, my general, but really, and here with the greatest respect my division general, if we continue to handle the subject of the snipers here we are going to end up in prison, here doing the work is different, we should not employ a sniper or expert shooter to go there, because the photo of that man behind that rifle in the media war is going to kill (us).
General 1: I'm not interested in what the media war says. I will not use it simply because the Constitution forbids anything else, but the time will come where we will have to use it.
General 2: Exactly, there I agree.
General 1: It will arrive at the moment where we are going to have to use it, and I want us to be ready for the moment we have to use it, because the President is not going to keep anything else in a green phase gentlemen. He already signed a range of operations, and what I said here with the commander Reyes, this is not going to be for the day 19 of April nor one more week later. We could be at the beginning of an urban subversive war and at that point in time only we will advance, the armed force, because the people, from what I see, whether the people are opposition or revolutionary, when they begin to see dead, because there are dead and they appear dead, everyone stays in their houses, gentlemen, they are going to remember me, they are going to remember me and the armed force is the one that is going to have to solve this mess. Then get ready with those military personnel who could act as snipers ...
General not identified: The other thing is that we have to get the bullets, because we have (to say) we already had an encounter with armed individuals, that has to be reported so that when one of you authorizes that, you have to point out that there has been units attacked already with weapons, with the type of caliber (FL: in other words, the general is saying they will have to have bullets to seed the area, so they can claim they were fired at).
Unidentified General: It was to finish what Lara says is perfectly so we have to have this consensus, first the experience of the comrades who are in the street, that is not for free and second in the legal framework we can´t lose sight of, until the last moment, until when the state of emergency is declared, is something else but as we are headed there, we can´t think that we are going to stay that way and that leaving with nothing else but the means to keep the peace people are going to be quiet, that is a lie
-But but (inaudible) People give up, what the situation and information says, the trend, the international scenario is that it will not be so, here they will continue until the intervention is justified because there is an energy issue, there are many, then we do not let's not bullshit ourselves, we are going to move on unluckily, it was our generation's turn to live this conflict and we have to take it up to what our country is demanding.
This is the beginning of war gentlemen
General 1: What the general is saying is what I see for the future.
General not identified: So what if we have to train and start really forming a team because here we are alone in this crap, and we already see it in people they starts to shit themselves when they start to see that there is an external support that the shit is bad. Then people start, look, to change sides, ok, I was, but really I really, hell, what the hell, these fucks, some (will change sides) and it will happen even within our ranks.