Venezuela's Military at "High Alert", Embassy Closed - Are They Just Moves to Distract Opponents?

Full Military Mobilization
Embassy with Columbia Closed

History's lessons aren't lost on Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelan strongman and president, Chavez formally ordered the country's armed forces to "high alert" status.

Chavez also ordered the closing of Venezuela's embassy in Colombia and the mobilization of the nation's armed forces to the Columbia border.

At various times when times are tough domestically, authoritarian rulers have distracted domestic opponents and rallied support of wavering populations with external threats--both real and imagined.

And what caused the Venezuelan president to call out the troops?
"We are at a state of alertness. I am putting Venezuela on alert and we will support Ecuador," Chavez told his regular Sunday broadcast Alo Presidente. "Defense minister: move 10 battalions to the Colombia-Venezuela border. Tank battalions, military aircraft: deploy!" he ordered.

So it wasn't trouble at home that caused all this military motion?

Well, whatever it is, it seems that there's been any military challenge from Ciolumbia, a country that is battling narco-lords, guerrillas and problems from the left and right.

But that's Chavez's story and he's sticking to it.
During the same broadcast, Chavez strongly condemned the killing of Luis Edgar Devia, better known by the alias Raul Reyes, who was the de facto foreign minister for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), that nation's largest armed rebel group.

The Colombian army killed Devia in Ecuadorian territory. Ecuador responded with a protest letter sent via diplomatic channels.

Maybe the military's mobilized out of sympathy?
Chavez told the broadcast audience that he had received a phone call from Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, in which Correa said he had recalled Ecuador's ambassador to Colombia and ordered the mobilization of troops to Ecuador's northern border with Colombia.

As was previously stated, Chavez has been battling opponents of his rollback of Venezuelan democracy. Street demonstrations are common.

But it's nothing a fully-mobilized military can't handle.

by Mondoreb

image: file
Source: Venezuela put military on high alert

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