Photo: retrieved

This story in The New York Times today is significant, if overhyped. It shows that U.S. officials met at least three times with Venezuelan military men, who were trying to plot a coup last year. The plot died with the Armed Forces purge, and dozens of officers involved (or believed to be involved) languish in military prisons, very likely tortured to cough up more names.

A few details stand out to me, but none more than the incredibly silly petition the unnamed “former military commander” reportedly asked of the gringos. What he wanted most was… encrypted radios.

This is revealing on a number of levels. First, it shows how effective Cuban-backed military intelligence cover has become. Venezuelan officers have no means of communicating with one another safely: electronic eavesdropping is pervasive in their lives. Their biggest problem is securing communications—DGCIM cover is pervasive, and what DGCIM doesn’t pick up, SEBIN does. It’s no fun plotting in those circumstances.

But this specific request—military radios—is so unworkable, it reads like a joke. If you can’t communicate safely with your co-conspirators, how the hell are you supposed to coordinate the distribution of these encrypted radios? And how incriminating is it going to be for your co-conspirators when DGCIM finds your super-sketchy, gringo-made encrypted radio in your gym bag? Isn’t this plan just very, very obviously certain to fail?

Hey, brainiacs: everybody in the plot already has an encrypted communications device in their hands.

Hey, brainiacs: everybody in the plot already has an encrypted communications device in their hands, one that calls no attention to itself, one they already know how to use. Hint: it’s the one you use to download porn.

There’s a ton and a half of software you can put into a burner phone to turn it into an untraceable encrypted communications platform that nobody will ask any questions about. Instead, these guys went around asking for 1950s technology nearly guaranteed to give them away.

It’s just another reminder that the guys atop the military—our putative saviors—are not only very, very criminal: they’re also painfully stupid. A plot that relies on people operating on this level of sophistication will only fail. Which, obviously, the Americans saw right away: they listened to this dumb talk and refused to support the plan, understandably worried that they were being set up as part of a SEBIN propaganda hit. Which makes sense, considering the scene’s absurdity.

Read the piece yourself, and get ready for the massive eyerolls your body will do.

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80 COMMENTS

  1. It is silly and I am hoping things improve for you guys AND that the Turmp admin won’t be a factor for too long. Hang in there!
    The radios are for use where there is no cell signal. What happens if you are using cell phones that run over networks owned by the state and the state turns off the cell networks?

    • no but toro is right, you cant be carrying a bunch of special radios around. thats just silly. but they do have some cool spy shit that look like cell phones. too risky better to just use your burner cell.

      • I may be totally wrong, but I don’t think you can purchase burner phones in Venezuela. The only phones I have seen for sale are the more expensive ones (a few hundred dollars and more). Even if you can get a cheaper version, then you can’t get a number. Need to open an account with Movistar, Movilnet, etc for which one probably needs references (banking and personal), copy of your ID crd and who knows what else

          • Nobody buys phones from Movistar, movilnet etc. It is always a friend or relative bringing the phone here or by puerta a puerta. Secondly, there are no phones to buy here. NO HAY!!! Everybody brings them from abroad now. Just look at your typical Movistar store now. NO HAY!!!

            Also having a second phone under somebody elses name or under a fake is EASY!!! Or you can buy somebodys phone line from somebody who is leaving the country.

            People are selling their bank accounts in droves now.

    • New York Times, says it all really, with its ‘unnamed sources,’ why is this story in the paper now? that is the bigger question.
      With the current drama that the NYT has with its Whitehouse insider, again an ‘unnamed source’ who probably does not exist, then the reason becomes clear.
      That reason has nothing to do with Venezuela, and everything to do with American politics in trying to unseat an elected President.
      Still its good to see that Toro shows his head still fully up the Dems arsehole.
      Toro our “putative savior”…… forgive me if i dont look to Toro and his ilk from saving us here!

      • Typical Trumpian verbal diarrhea attacking unnamed sources which have been around forever and have been reliable in breaking many important stories that might never have seen the light. In typical Trumpian fashion, you display your intellectual weakness by making use of childish insults.

        • Heres a childish insult, go fuck yourself jimmynobobby.
          BTW i did not vote for Trump you quisling.
          Its difficult to do living in Venezuela.
          And im British you moron.
          Now go throw your partisan insults at someone who gives a fuck.

      • We have known all along that “all options are on the table”. That Marco Rubio is influential in formulating Trumps policy and he has actively encouraged a coup for a long time. None of this is new or surprising.

        As with anything, this is just an anti-war leftists trying to wind up other anti-war leftists base because they have a hard-on for impeaching trump. Thats it. The article is pathetic. But some anti-war leftie who knows nothing of Venezuela will think this is big news. Just a bunch of doves squawking about nothing.

        Trump is here to stay. And if not Pence is even more of a hawk.

        • The Russian Collusion narrative which has been pushed for 2 years by the democrats (DNC Hillary) has fallen apart.
          In fact with a probable Special Council to investigate Clinton, Obama, the Ohr’s, Perkins Coeui, Mifsud, McCabe, Brennan, Yates, Clapper, Comey, Steele, Rosenstein, FISA Court Judges etc etc etc. We will then see the real scandal at the heart of the American deep state.
          All the New York Times is doing, as the flag bearer for deluded democrats is to pivot onto another made up scandal.
          The only “verbal diarrhoea” i have seen on this site come from the very enemy that we have in Venezuela, and thats socialists blindly supporting their Marxist dogma.
          That includes people like Francisco Toro and bloggers like Jimbob and Canucklehead.

          • Not one person has been charged with Russian collusion in any way.
            Popadopolous was the main key in their charges, and he took a plea deal on a matter, separate from any collusion charge, resulting in 2 weeks jail time.
            So bearing in mind that it was apparently set up to find Russian collusion, 2 years later there is still no evidence that Trump people are guilty.
            Now when the DNC and Hillary hire Fusion GPS and a foreign spy to collate dirt from RUSSIANS to try to put forward the dirty dossier to destroy a political candidate……. that will be interesting when that is investigated.
            But again if you can point out who has been colluding with the Russians then crack on.
            BTW Trump will release this week the unredacted FISA documents, and we will see who is guilty!!
            And thats the one with Rosensteins signature on, the Deputy AG who formed the Mueller witch hunt, cant wait.

  2. the cannuck got the drop on you mr Toro!! had to hurry up and get it posted so quick that you made a pretty obvious editing error. it was a good line though you pornaholic you!

  3. It’s speaks volume of the institutional decay of the Venezuela Chavista and it is only consistent with the incompetence displayed by Chavismo in EVERY aspect of life. The military, the de facto foundation of the Venezuelan dictatorship, is consistently incompetent and backward as everything Chavista.

    I read a report this week that Padrino Lopez asked the military to have faith and patience with the economic measure, because this time they will fix things! It is telling that he would need to say such an inane thing.

    Chavismo is wobbly, the political opposition is in disarray and the people are paralyzed with fear. This is not stable.

  4. Not a bit of this can be laid at the feet of the United States. But the NYT* (about as anti-American a rag as can be found) would like you to think so. If any “plot” failed, it was on the Venezuela end.

    You elected this shitstorm. If you want freedom from this dictatorship, then take the action necessary. Not ONE drop of US blood nor ONE US dollar should be spent on saving the bacon of a single Socialist ingrate.

    *The NY Times has this curious habit of finding out the lurid details of various “right wing conspiracies”. Yet never a peep about leftist shenanigans around the world. I wonder why THAT is?

    Curious also, is half the time, when these “conspiracies” are delved into, nobody can find but the most threadbare of “facts” that the NYT used to postulate said conspiracies. It’s like watching Ancient Aliens and all of their syllogistic reasoning in regards to alien outposts on the dark side of the moon. And when you call them on it, they hide behind, “We will not reveal our sources…”

    • “But the NYT* (about as anti-American a rag as can be found) would like you to think so. ”

      I don’t know…RT is almost as anti American as NYT.

    • “You elected this shitstorm. If you want freedom from this dictatorship, then take the action necessary. Not ONE drop of US blood nor ONE US dollar should be spent on saving the bacon of a single Socialist ingrate.”

      Fortunately, you only speak for yourself and Trump seems to think otherwise.

  5. Venezuela is just adjusting to become next Cuba.
    Living with less 1 dollar per day is new reality.
    Maduro is still criminal and country is corrupt.

  6. About encrypted radios vs. cell phones.

    The first thing that any invading force does is cut communications. It is the first thing that Maduro would cut too.

    That is why they need radios. Not “before” the coup, but for during the coup.

  7. You missed the “The only way out is to wait until new elections”

    This NYT stinks to fake news, it might even be an article submitted by a very chavizta propaganda agent to continue the fallacy that “only elections are the way out of this” after all, it wouldn’t be the first time they gladly accept blood-stained dollars and lend their spaces to this disgusting regime:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-vice-president-new-york-times-full-page-ad-drug-trafficking-2017-2

  8. Now, if only Fox News had reported the same story as the (failing, fake news) NYT, all of us here would believe it. Wink and eye roll.

  9. For those who have been around here for a while (i.e. since before Chavez died): who were the two Chavez supporters who used to show up here every day and among other things, complain about the New York Times’ coverage of Venezuela being made up, pro American propaganda? There was “Get a Clue” and this other guy.

    Things have changed a lot since those days. And yet somehow it is all very familiar, how the far right has adopted the rhetorical style, talking points and some of the same institutional targets as the far left.

      • It is an excellent newspaper. Not perfect by any means. An example is its consistently excellent reporting on Venezuela over the years. It has done more reporting than any other English language North American news outlet on Venezuela, that I am aware. That reporting has been factual. And that reporting has not been flattering to chavismo. I think people who dismiss it as a left wing rag find that difficult to process: its factual coverage of Venezuela, Cuba, left wing governments in Brazil and Argentina, North Korea, China, Russia and the Soviet Union before that.

        Here’s the thing. If a tenth of what the NYT reported is accepted as accurate, certain worldviews would be thrown into turmoil. Including those of chavismo.

    • It can also be used to clean mirrors and windows in a pinch, and if shredded makes good cage lining for puppies who are yet potty trained.

  10. “A big story in The New York Times tries to show American connivance in a dastardly plot…”

    You gotta be kidding.

    If this was sarcasm, okay…I missed it.

  11. I would offer a different view: at least the plotters did something and they had the common sense to understand that elections and international condemnations are insufficient to restore Venezuela.

  12. And further, the plotters are apparently in jail. Why mock them? If the allegations about suffering, corruption and basic human rights violations are even half true, are not the plotters patriots rather than objects of ridicule. I cannot decode Venezuela but I am not convinced about all the negativity I read about its people and culture.

  13. As mentioned. If they want secure comms, there are free apps that will do that for them.
    https://signal.org/

    This sounds like a scam to me. Someone convinces some idiot in the US to give the expensive equipment. Check the following week and the equipment is being sold to ISIS or FARC for a nice profit. Rinse and repeat for spectacular profits.

    This is the military. They already have all the weapons. If they want to take over, then use what they already have!

    • “This is the military. They already have all the weapons. If they want to take over, then use what they already have!”

      Exactly, go radio silent. Use a f$&king watch and attack all at same time.

      Also, they would have to cut off all private cell towers, or cut off power, or whatever. It is not a centralized grid. It is decentralized and venezuela is completely disorganized. Hopefully the scumbag chavistas would all be rounded up before communications would be cut off, and you would have communications up to the moment of the attack regardless. After that, it would go radio silent…perhaps.

        • The cubans and Chavistas will likely keep cell phone communications going in the event of an attack. They need to communicate and they need to hear what is happening via their spies. Cell phone towers can help locate cell phone users fairly accurately. Why would they give up this ability?

  14. This wont be the last conspiracy , they will keep cropping up , here and there as conditions deteriorate further , you ll have a lot of failures but practice makes perfect and maybe , when least expected a future plot does the job ……wonder how many other plots are being started at this moment , and whether this is being published to make the regime breathe easier while another more dangerous plot is being hatched ………, does any one wonder what the response would be in a coup plot does succeed , will the US administration be unhappy about it , will other Latam govts, if given the chance will the US and other govts lament a coup happening ?? what about inside the country , will most people feel indignant and angry if a coup does happen or will they massively go out to the streets and celebrate!!

    • “…what about inside the country , will most people feel indignant and angry if a coup does happen or will they massively go out to the streets and celebrate!!”

      It’ll be a national party for weeks once the people see both maduro and diosdado hanged from a post.

      Or at least soiling their pants as they’re kicked out of the country.

  15. Toro: where is the “American connivance”? Even the NYT mentioned nothing more than talks which really means ‘listening for information’, considering the players.

    You shout down the US for any military action (including its existence) and demand “let diplomacy work” and then shout down the US for secrecy. Clue: there can be no diplomacy without secrecy.

    So your agenda becomes clear: “oppose and hate the US regardless of everything.” So, in effect you continually take the side of everyone who lines-up against the US: the chavistas, N Korea, every marxist, all extremist muslims, etc. What nice friends you (and the NYT) have!

  16. It’s dumb to ask for encrypted radios, when the Americans can provide assistance via air strikes.

    They needed to say, we are providing troops in the ground and you provide air support. That’s all they needed to say! I mean, the Americans were willing to sit down with representatives of the Venezuelan Armed forces, and the only thing they can come up with is: “Give us encrypted radios”. That’s just dumb.

    • So, U.S. reps sit down with Ven. supposedly armed oppo to hear what they say, which could easily be serious, or G-2 plants, or typical Ven. armed forces incompetents–so what, big deal, business as usual, all over the world, different players. Of course, as Crusader so aptly says above mid-Comments, the real intent is to try to soil Trump’s Presidency, by recalcitrant lib dems, who can’t accept they lost, and falsely accuse him of winning the electoral college due to Russian social media interference, and being such a liar that he deserves impeachment (when their chief standard-bearer Clinton(s) was graciously not impeached by Congress after lying publicly to it/the American public (“I did not have sex with that woman”).

    • Come on now did you not know that Infowars have been banned by those free speech platforms Twitter, Facebook etc etc.
      You know the ones all run by democrats.
      Democrats the party that respects the first ammendment……..but only when its opinions that they agree with and allow!
      “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
      ― Isaac Asimov

      • Crusader, the first amendment you are talking about applies to government regulation of speech. It does not apply to Twitter, Facebook etc.

      • Cnuckler is correct (did I just type that?). However, they do run the risk of “get woke, get broke,” although Twitter has never made a nickel, so what difference would it make ….

        I don’t know anything about Infowars, other than they blame 9/11 and Sandy Hook shooting on US, and that they have gotten a lot of publicity since being banned. I’m guessing Venezuela is not on their radar.

        • To me its the equivilant of coming onto this site and me deleting all of Canuckleheads posts as they dont fit my political leaning.
          I would not do that, and he would not like it if i stopped him from voicing his opinion.
          But Twitter et al does!
          “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
          ― George Orwell

        • Crusader,

          You could be pissed if this blog censored or did not allow comments, but its still just some guy’s blog in the end, who owes you no right to uncensored commenting. There are millions of blogs. If it was a US (Fed, State, County, Local) government sponsored blog, they’d be crazy to even allow comments. I don’t know of any that do.

  17. So you agree with me, Twitter, Facebook etc etc. do not apply a free speech doctrine.
    That must be your point, as you are stipulating it does not apply to them.
    Now as most of the banning (shadowbanning) has been massively against Republicans (which i am not) then there is a political bias to their free speech allowance.
    Simple really
    “Democrats the party that respects the first amendment……..but only when its opinions that they agree with and allow!”

    • No, that is not my point, Crusader. That is you putting words in my mouth to make your point look less wrong.

      To put it in Crusader language, this point of yours about the first amendment free speech doctrine and Twitter would be like me applying the doctrine of papal infallibility to the orders of a ship’s captain.

      • But you didnt elaborate on how my” point looks less wrong”. Next you will be saying i have hurt your feelings.
        Dont confuse papal infallibility with impeccability!

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