Vainas de Freddy

Surprising a universe of no one, IISS’s version of the Raul Reyes files are already up online. They make for absolutely compelling reading – you can waste hours and hours leafing through them, which I know for a fact, cuz I just did precisely that!

The Venezuela-related file is 836 pages of small type – some 832,000 words, longer than the King James Bible. So no, I don’t think anyone is likely to get through it in one sitting. But, thanks to the magic of “Control-F,” you can weave together different strands of the tale in just minutes.

One interesting subplot is the burgeoning bro-mance between Iván Márquez – FARC’s de facto ambassador in Caracas – and then Central Caracas Mayor Freddy Bernal in late 2002 and early 2003.

  • Bernal first gets noticed by FARC, following his “heroic” work defending Chávez on April 11th, 2002 (in email numbered I.414 – a fascinating missive worth its own post).
  • By june 2002 (I.436) we first see Bernal ask FARC for training.
  • In I.455 (July 20, 2002) we find out Bernal’s right-hand man says they don’t trust the army and want to build structures that don’t depend on the barracks.
  • By October (I.498) they’re discussing dates to train Bernal’s people in urban warfare tactics and explosives.
  • Just a few days later (I.501) Iván Márquez confirms the training dates.
  • By the end of November (I.515), FARC’s training exercises for Bernal’s urban guerrilla squads seem pretty much institutionalized: they’re doing one and planning the next. (Other trainings involved PCV youth and MEP members.)
  • By December 2002, Freddy is meeting FARC’s people in Caracas directly, semi-regularly, to coordinate on a broad range of issues.
  • In January, Bernal’s people are actively helping FARC’s “diplomats” organize a trip to Brazil (I.524).

Then, in a detailed email dated March 8th 2003 (numbered I.534),we get the guinda de la torta – when Bernal takes the chance to relate to Márquez his intimate conviction that the U.S. has a plan to destabilize Chávez by, among other things…”linking him to the guerrilla”!!!

¡Es que esos gringos sí inventan, vale!…

17 thoughts on “Vainas de Freddy

  1. Of course it shouldn’t surprise anyone: the dossier belongs in the public domain, for obvious historical, and political importance. Playing with such information, a la Wikileaks, it’s just disgusting behaviour.

    As per contents, you’re quite right: it is compulsory reading.


    • Fascinating stuff.
      Seen “Villa del Rosario” Hermes, cédula -> “declararlo indio” (for the passport)
      Shocking to see how the leaked data from Venezuelan military about the crimes committed by the FARC (killings etc, pago de vacunas, children killed in fightings)
      Disgusting how they affect the native American groups.


        • By the way: Villa del Rosario is the capital of the municipio where that FARC camp was located, according to the Colombian media. The camp was just in the border between that municipio (controlled by a UNT mayor now) and two other municipios controlled by PSUV, just touching Colombian border.

          The Higuerote house is probably not far from the place where that FARC guy had his picture taken with a beer can.


          • Chamo, Higuerote is about 40 km as the crow flies from the beach in that beer can pic.

            That was in La Guaira.


  2. We’re not surprised. But the IISS must be uber-disappointed Chavez hasn’t chucked a hissy fit.


  3. This is another proof that Chavistas are very far from being democrats. What happens then if in 2012, after all the tricks and advantages, Chavez loses anyway.

    I believe that he will never ever step down unless he is under immense pressure (he would probably say ‘heck I am going to Cuba with my gazillion dollars and just live like a bloody celebrity’). But what about all the gorillas that surround him? Will they listen to him if he says that he lost and that they have to step down collectively? I believe that a good part of these not-so-powerful-or-rich-but-heavily-armed-and-crazy sociopaths are a hair away from unleashing hell in Venezuela.

    The demise of Chavez wont be pretty, hopefully not as bad as Ghadaffi but not as pretty as Mubarak.


    • Probably, the best way (for Venezuela) and for Hugo to step down is for him to fail completely in governing Venezuela. He will, eventually, and most probably when oil prices go down again. The best that can then happen is for him to have a personal nervous breakdown (may he never be the same again), and for chavismo to have something similar, but collective.

      The second best can be termed poetic justice. If Hugo just got throat cancer, or went down with the Bolivarian Air Farce One… But I don’t believe in Deus ex Machina or in a benevolent God, so he and his gang will probably live a long and healthy life (look at Fidel and Raul) and go on screwing dominating Venezuela and Venezuelans for as long as they stand watching.


  4. loroferoz

    Exactly my way of seeing things. Bad stuff just don’t seem to happen to bad guys, if anything, its as if god were helping the revolution.But enough BS. The way to go is undemocratic, and we all have to get that in our heads,because we the oppo have no leaders,no representatives,nobody that makes us go wow. And those of us living in Vzla can get quite frustrated by seeing how people around us just don’t seem to give a fuck,too busy thinking about the present.


    • I don’t know. To get to that point where Hugo is removed by non-electoral, but perfectly legitimate means, you have to get an overwhelming majority of Venezuelans to hate the Chavez regime and to prefer a future in which it is no more.

      Unfortunately, most Venezuelans, even educated ones, don’t see past their reptilian brains (let alone their noses) and act accordingly in their social lives. That means that they will react to pain / lack of essentials, and the reaction might not be constructive. With oil and populism, there is not such a direct relationship between erroneous direction and lack of essentials as in other countries. My opinion, expressed in many other posts, is that when Venezuelans react to what is happening, they will just be at the threshold of a world of pain.


  5. I downloaded the entire file in pdf format. It’s big, but not huge (11mb) from the site. Once you download, it is easy to do a search by nae; e.g., Bernal, Diosdado, etc, and thread the stories. Quite a tale!

    If the empire is making this shit up, then I tip my hat to them–they are brilliant! LOL

    Love the characterization of Chavez in post 1.414 (about the April 11th coup): “He is honest and well intentioned, but too lenient on corruption; a bit of out of the loop; is also arrogant and stubborn…”, etc, etc. Nothing has changed in 11 years.


  6. On Freddy Bernal: at the beginning of the book there’s a list of people with aliases, key to understand some of the names in the emails. Search for Amílcar Figueroa Salazar, alias Tino, deputy to Freddy Bernal, extremely active.


  7. Transparency is one of the keys to not letting these kind of things happen again. In order to have transparency, we need separation of powers, both vertical and horizontal. The long ago discovered truth is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Get the press to believe this, ha. They believe that there can be two or more conflicting truths. After all truth and everything I believe in are relative, so I can believe anything I want, which of course is ok. What is not OK is that was is not true can be useful.


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