Defense Minister denies takeover of FANB by Cuban, Iranian or Belarus military

Patrick J. O'Donoghue

VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O'Donoghue reports: Defense Minister, General Carlos Mata Figueroa has come out to deny any take-over of the Armed Force (FANB) by Cubans, taking the line that they are friends collaborating with the Bolivarian revolution.

The General made the speech on Margarita Island at an act celebrating the bicentenary of the island joining the independence movement against the Spanish Crown.

What is occurring in the FANB, the General stated, is the development of new military thought based on Venezuelan precepts ... new manuals are being drawn up and a new military doctrine is being created.

Mata Figueroa dismissed the "usual birds of ill omen" behind the campaign aimed at creating the impression and convincing the general public that the FANB is being Cubanized or taken over by Belarus or even, Iran revolutionary guards personnel.

The new doctrine, The General maintained, isn't really new but a matter of returning to what Venezuela is and "where we come from and what the liberators left us ... that is the our military thought."

The new military doctrine, which has Socialism as its north, has come under attack from the opposition and former officer organizations.

General Mata said there would be no back-tracking in the process of change, which included the FANB ... "the most important thing is that we have a leader forcing the march."

President Chavez has admitted that Cuban military experts are helping to improve Venezuela's intelligence and strategic services in key areas that had and have been heavily infiltrated and compromised by well-known foreign intelligence services.


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