In the wake of the Trump’s policy shift towards Cuba and the new EU-Cuba deal, conversations about the future of Venezuela have moved from Washington to Brussels.That is because some European actors believe that Cuba directs Venezuelans destinies today. Lawyer and human rights activist Rocio San Miguel, president of Control Ciudadano (an NGO focused on matters of national security and the armed forces), concurs to this idea. San Miguel has documented the process through which Cuba has taken control of previously untouchable values of sovereignty and issues of national security in Venezuela.
The National Armed Forces have three constitutional missions: the defense of sovereignty; the defense of territorial integrity; cooperation in national development. “In all three the institution has failed,” said San Miguel in an interview to digital portal Prodavinci. “The most important strategic decisions for Venezuela—political, military, and also economic and social– are taken in a war room in Havana.” San Miguel argues that the Cuban government need to closely monitor Venezuela as it has become key to its survival. Prophetically, Raúl Castro once said, referring to the alliance between Venezuela and Cuba: “increasingly we are the same thing.”
Indeed, the military has gone through a series of continued legal reforms and internal purges. Since 2004, Hugo Chavez started sending successive promotions of the higher commands and Chief Staffs to Cuba. All eight commanders that currently hold the army’s firepower were the first to be re-trained in the island. Then begun a radical transformation of the military, it is now as an ideological pillar of the revolution. Now, most officials in a position of command have been trained by Cubans and, as in the Cuban model, are ingrained in the Venezuelan government and economy.
Periodista (UCV, Caracas) y Magister en Ciencias Políticas (LSE, Londres), es Senior Fellow del CDDA - IQ Americas. Es autor de libros y ensayos de análisis político, el más reciente De Verde a Maduro: El sucesor de Hugo Chávez (Random House, 2013). Ha trabajado como productor y presentador del Servicio Mundial de la BBC, reportero y editor de medios impresos (Exceso, El Mundo, TalCual) y audiovisuales (Venevisión, CNN, Telemundo) y Productor Ejecutivo de Efecto Naím en NTN24.