“Black Wasps” of Cuba train special squads of Venezuelan Armed Forces
The regime of Nicolás Maduro relies in the existence of two groups to keep the power, in the event of a foreign intervention: The Special Actions Forces of the National Armed Forces (FAES-FANB) and the Bolivarian Militia, as the military operational capabilities could be overcome (or it would be in danger of being overcome) due to the resign of officers and the drop in the entry of soldiers into the institution.
The way forward for the military leadership would be the “resistance” or guerrilla war, according to the secret documents of the Operational Strategic Command of the FANB, published in the series “The roles of war” / “The games of the War of Maduro and the FANB “. The reports were distributed since September 12, when it was authorized by the commands of the four components.
The FAES began to be strengthened in 2016 by express orders from Maduro to the Minister of Defense, General-in-Chief Vladimir Padrino López, who said so in a meeting held on February 5 of that year, to the Expanded General Staff, behind closed doors in the Fort Tiuna Military Complex, as evidenced by the document “Planning Guide of the Ministry of Defense 2016”.
The order was absolutely obeyed. The idea was replicated by the forces comprehended in the National Bolivarian Police (PNB) – Civil Security Force at federal and national level – and the political police, the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) and the so-called Special Actions Forces (FAES) of which 20 troops gather in the FANB, as an ideological elite group, among them the Delta Group (attached to the General Directorate of Counterintelligence and Military Intelligence, (DGCIM), Command Action Group (GAC) assigned to the National Bolivarian Guard and Special Tactical Operations Unit belonging to the Bolivarian National Police (UOTE-PNB).
Previously there only were the Special Operations Force Los Cazadores (now named Los Caribes) created in 1963; the Commando Actions Group or Group of Special Actions (GAE), created on June 4, 1985, to repel terrorists and the urban and rural guerrilla; the School of Special Operations in Cumanacoa – east of the country; a battalion in the Guri- located in the South of Venezuela (Army); another in the Ávila mountain – the capital region – of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) and those of the Navy, which can be mobilized if necessary.
Cuban military in Tiuna Fort
At the beginning of 2018, FAES not only attracted attention because it was used to attack the officer of the Criminal Investigation Unit (CICPC), Oscar Pérez, and a group of people who accompanied him on January 15, but because there were assigned resources to it as if it were a separate component. On February 24, Maduro approved funds in Petros – the official cryptocurrency – for training and maintenance.
Since then, the FAES-FANB became one: the “preferred command” and, therefore, they were trained with officers brought from Cuba. The incident occurred on September 28, when personnel from the FAES welcomed members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, who participated in the training of Venezuelan soldiers. That day, the members of the force called “Black Wasps”, known as the Elite Forces of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba (FAR), were in Fuerte Tiuna, “sharing” with their national counterparts.
September 28, 2018: @ceofanb: Integrated to win; #FAES of our #FANBEsVenezuela, strengthened their knowledge and military skills for the Integral Defense of the Nation, in #OperacionEstrategicaDefensiva Combined with the Special Forces of Cuba “Black Wasps” of the FAR. (Translated from Spanish).
Behind the “Resistance Operations”
The presence of Cuban “Black Wasps” responds to the plans of the FANB for a technical specializing of “preferred soldiers” which, according to the FANB Employment Manual in conducting Operations Required for the Maintenance of Internal Order, will have Special missions, once President Nicolás Maduro determines that conditions exist to declare a “state of national commotion”. A state of internal commotion – according to Article 13 of the Organic Law on States of Exception – is a situation resulting from the presence of intrusive armed forces from other countries.
“The Special Operations are different in multiple features from conventional operations, in which a regular force cannot conduct this type of operation, since these consist of being targeted against the enemy’s Gravity Centers, attacking those elements whose destruction, disablement or neutralization will catastrophically affect the enemy’s plan; it will cause practically irreversible damage and will force it to restrict and even to desist from its purpose”, the document points out.
Being more accurate, the FAES execute “assaults, strikes, penetrations and ambushes, patrols, sabotage, mining, blasting of infrastructure elements, as well as psychological operations.”
The FANB, through the GNB, would use the Special Force for the Maintenance of Internal Order in the following tasks:
- Neutralize subversive operations.
- Interdiction of contravening elements of the Internal Order.
- Counterterrorism, anti-kidnapping, and anti-drug operations.
- Operations of search, rescue, and aid for the affected ones by situations of disasters that, due to their great magnitude, demand the use of troops, in accordance with the laws.
- Participate in the restoration of Internal Order.
- Capture or destroy counterrevolutionary groups or highly dangerous common criminals.
- Rescue of hostages.
- Search and rescue of people in places of high risk.
- Fulfill other specially assigned missions.
In the Manual, the “Special Operations” to be executed are also described:
(a) “Direct actions:
- “Destruction of facilities and sensitive or vital areas of the enemy.
- “Interdiction of communication routes and complexes in the rear of the enemy.
(b) “Unconventional Warfare:
- “Counter-guerrilla operations.
- “Counter-insurgency operations.
- “Counter-terrorism operations.
(c) “Internal Defense:
- “Counteract enemy actions in the depth of the national territory.
- “Defense of the areas occupied or recovered by the FANB”.
The FAES-FANB will focus its action on what the CEOFANB qualifies as “Resistance Operations”; which means “those destined to contribute to the development of the strategic operation of resistance until victory is achieved; during the second period of the war. “
In practice, it implies: “(a) Organization and articulation of the battlefronts in the communities; (b) Protection of popular Command Posts; (c) Popular intelligence; (d) Designation of resistance objectives; (e) Popular transportation and mobilization; (f) Mobilization of popular forces for resistance “.
War seen in concepts
- Weapons control: Operations will be done through the military police units and infantry units, in order to reach the maintenance of internal order, aimed at the control of weapons and the disarming of people and gangs that generate violence.
- Violence generator armed counter-groups: Special operations units will be used for those cases in which a force against these armed groups is required.
- Border security: Border security will be executed by the units that are located in the border states and by those units or services that are required for these operations upon request.
- Terrorism: For these actions, will be used special operations units and those additional units that allow decisive actions against terrorism.
- Organized Crime: the use of special forces units is required as well as those units that can perform patrol functions.
- Disruption of public order: This requires the use of the Military Police units of the different components of the FANB, properly trained and prepared for public order operations.
- Subversion: In addition to the Special Forces Units, the units in charge of land, air, maritime and fluvial patrols will be used to detect subversive activities that attempt against security and citizen peace.
- Unconventional War: Interference in a country with political intentions of domination without using war technology (weapons, tanks, drones, and bombings). A physical, political, economic, cultural penetration of a powerful country into another in unequal conditions with the purpose of subjecting it and expropriating it from water, mineral and/or energy goods.
- Prolonged Popular War: It is a politic-military strategy created by Mao Tse Tung. The basic concept behind the people’s war is to maintain the support of the population and attract the enemy to the interior where the population can defeat them through a mixture of mobile war and guerrilla warfare. The term is used by the Maoists for their long-term strategy of armed revolutionary struggle.
- Guarimbas: Shelters used by Venezuelans to protect themselves while participating in demonstrations against Government. Venezuelan slang. Regarding the etymology, it could have been derived from Polish word Warjgan. It is also defined as a “Set of actions that provoke the destabilization of people, through a series of acts and irregularities that interrupt the Public Order and the citizen’s tranquility near the shelters of the groups that generate violence, that allows them to block the roads and then look for a safe shelter”. (CEOFANB, 2014)
- Subversion: Hostile and violent actions where terrorist acts are performed in a hidden, organized and planned way with the mission of subverting the constitutional order, to have as final aim a change of government with the use of violence and fire, in order to overthrow any state of law.
Source: FANB Employment Manual in the conduct of Operations Required for the Maintenance of Internal Order.