Letter of Aristeguieta Gramcko to Elliott Abrams: «Venezuela needs an Operation Torch»

Sir

Mr. Elliott Abrams

Special Envoy for Venezuela

Department of State

Washington DC.-

Dear Mr. Abrams:

I have read with great interest your interview for the news portal Infobae, where you explain the strategy of the United States government for achieving a democratic transition in Venezuela. Therefore, I would like to express some considerations on the issues raised in the interview.

I begin by commenting on the fact that the destruction of the Armed Forces -as well as their infiltration by Cuban agents- has been so extensive that, in my opinion, our military personnel are not capable of accomplishing by themselves a breakdown of the institution. Every time they have tried, they have been betrayed, with terrible consequences for themselves and for their families. Therefore, to induce a military fracture, it is not enough to wait for the crisis to deepen, putting a price on Maduro’s head or offering to lift some sanctions.

For a breakdown to materialize, it is essential that an act of force take place, which would put pressure on the military to take sides. In this regard, there should be a «liberated zone», somewhere in the Venezuelan territory, where a transitional government can be established, whose dominance could progressively advance towards the rest of the country.

I would like to emphasize that, to achieve this aim, the use of foreign troops is not necessary, since there are Venezuelan military and police forces ready to act, as long as they have the political, logistical and technological support of an international coalition. Once such an event occurs, then yes, civilians and military can overturn massively and support the new authorities.

Setting aside the historical and geographical differences, I would like to mention as an example the «Operation Torch», carried out in North Africa during the Second World War; where the establishment of liberated zones on the beaches of Morocco and Algeria caused the breakdown of the pro-Nazi French forces, commanded by Admiral François Darlan. Later, it was Admiral Darlan himself who convinced other French military chiefs to abandon their allegiance to the collaborationist Vichy government and join the Allied Forces.

On the other hand, in the aforementioned interview, the journalist Sebastiana Barráez pointed out to you that Nicolás Maduro does not have any support within the Armed Forces, and that, unfortunately, it seems that the interim president Juan Guaidó does not have a leadership in the military either. You replied that Guaidó, in his capacity as president of the National Assembly and interim president, has the legitimacy to command the military institution.

Certainly, Guaidó formally holds those positions, but he possibly does not have the favor of the military, largely due to the mistakes made by his inner circle. You know well the role that an offender of the North American justice, Raúl Gorrín, played in the events of last April 30. You are also aware of the abandonment by the interim government of more than five hundred soldiers who crossed the border in Colombia. These circumstances partly explain the distrust that may exist among the military.

Due to the above, it would seem coherent that neither the usurper Maduro nor President Guaidó be part of the transitional government. The cabinet must be constituted by Venezuelans, both civilians and military, with impeccable records, professionally qualified and of solid moral principles. just as it happened in 1958 when the dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was forced to resign.

In your interview, you referred to certain historical examples, such as South Africa and Zimbabwe. However, the Venezuelan circumstances are different, since for the first time in human history, a drug trafficking cartel takes control of the government of a nation.

As a member of the famous Patriotic Junta, I had the opportunity to fight against the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez, and I assure you that, despite his despotic disposition, on January 23, 1958, facing the dilemma of massacring the cadets of the Military Academy, the General preferred to abandon the country. On the other hand, those who rule us today would not hesitate to murder thousands of compatriots and provoke a catastrophe, in order to remain in power.

Finally, I would like to call for an immediate resolution to the Venezuelan predicament which is urgent, since we are heading towards a general famine, in the midst of a pandemic, with completely depleted gasoline inventories, and with a total collapse of water, electricity distribution systems and of healthcare assistance. What is envisioned in the short term is a scenario of chaos, fratricidal confrontations and balkanization of the country.

On the other hand, Maduro will use the time he remains in power to continue destabilizing the region. The airlift that started last week between Venezuela and Iran serves as an example. Given the terrorist condition of the Iranian regime, this connection could be extremely dangerous, especially considering Maduro’s relationship with Cuba, Russia, China, Islamic fundamentalism and Colombian narco-terrorism.

I hope that you will analyze these observations, considering that they come from an 87-year-old Venezuelan, who is not seeking any positions or honors. I am only interested in the well-being of my country and the regional security, seriously threatened by Nicolás Maduro, a Cuban agent who has not even managed to prove his Venezuelan nationality.

To conclude this letter, I would like to express my deep gratitude to you and to the people and government of the United States, for the valuable efforts made to contribute to the restoration of democracy and freedom in Venezuela.

With no further reference, I subscribe to you.

Sincerely,

Enrique Aristeguieta Gramcko

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