Venezuelan opposition plans F-16 attack

Coup Attempt Revealed: Active and Retired Venezuelan Military on Tape

Translation: Machetera

September 10, 2008. – This Wednesday evening, the host of the television program La Hojilla, Mario Silva, broadcast a video that reveals a plan for a coup d’etat and assassination of President Hugo Chávez Frías, planned by retired and active military without command of National Bolivarian Armed Forces troops.

In the video one can hear telephone conversations between Army General Wilfredo Barroso Herrera, Vice Admiral Millán Millán and the General of the Aviation Brigade, Eduardo Baez Torrealba.

Those involved speak of taking Miraflores Palace and indicate, as their principal objective, directing all their efforts toward the location of “el señor,” referring to President Hugo Chávez.  In one of the conversations held by the coup plotters, one can hear: “If he’s in Miraflores, we’ll direct our forces there.”

One can also hear: “We’re going to take Miraflores Palace, we’re going to take over the television stations.  There must be only one objective (…) this united force must go toward Miraflores Palace, because it’s the combat unit.”

Among the military officers plans is guaranteeing control of the Navy Command, according to conversations heard on the video.  In their conversation, the operation would be divided into three zones; eastern, western and central.

“A possible operation” is proposed against President Chávez while traveling.  “One of the actions might be in-flight, capturing him with airborne planes (…) if so it would have to be well armed,” they indicate.

In the conversation, it is indicated that they can count on commanders, colonels and pilots, one of them with a thousand flight hours in an F-16, ready to follow instructions.

“Now the most important are the pilots.  There’s a pilot who has a thousand flight hours in an F-16 and another who’s an instructor, who are the ones who will launch the planes.  This commander and this instructor have other boys below them, some captains and some majors, to whom they give instructions, who are also ready to follow him, but if it’s the security guy at Libertador Base, he’s with us,” the conversation continued.

“He told me: I’ll get the pilots in a plane.  He’s the commander and nobody’s going to contradict him or anything.  He’s the police commander there (…)” can also be heard on the recording.

Silva said that these actions come from the fear of the opposition sectors, among whom he accused Raúl Isaías Badual and Alberto Federico Ravell, of losing the local and regional elections which will take place on November 23.

He indicated that this video would be put at the disposal of the Attorney General of the Republic, so that the pertinent investigations in the case might move forward.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

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