Military and Police

Venezuelan Defectors Seek Dissident Armed Force

The growing number of Venezuelan defectors are actively seeking the creation of a dissident armed force to liberate their home country.

Recent calls from Juan Guaidó, the self-declared president of Venezuela, and political opposition to dictator Nicolás Maduro, for military defectors to join him and stand against the current regime have not gone unheard.

International media are reporting on a small but growing group of former Venezuelan security and defense personnel organizing to fight against the government in Caracas. At the center of this effort is one Eddier Rodriguez, a former army sergeant who until recently was working as a security guard in Bogotá, Colombia. Rodriguez is among the hundreds of Venezuelan members of the military, police, and intelligence services who answered Guaidó’s call to stand on “the right side of history” three months ago.

Rodriguez recently left his job in Bogotá, the high-altitude capital of Colombia, and moved to Cúcuta, a Colombian city at the border with Venezuela’s western state of Táchira, to work on a plan he has dubbed Operation Venezuela. There, he has organized some 150 former members of various security forces to create a dissident armed force, and participate in a plan to “liberate” Venezuela.

So far, Rodriguez’ plan has faced some serious obstacles, not the least of which have come from his current host country. Victor Bautista, border director for Colombia’s foreign ministry, has stated in response to the militia’s formation, that any groups who actually took up arms would be considered a paramilitary organization and would be detained by authorities if they were found. Furthermore, Rodriguez still needs to get equipment. He has said neither Guaidó nor Venezuelan businessmen have answered his request for weapons.

Still, the presence of a substantial force of trained military personnel ready to fight the Maduro government could prove to be an important factor in the Venezuelan crisis, one that could contribute to any large-scale conflict that may ensue between loyalists and defectors.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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