Defense fears escalation of conflict and resists the idea; American presence in Roraima was vetoed
According to Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, the United States wants Brazil to use military force to deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela. The Brazilian defense area resists the idea for fearing that the situation escalates into a conflict, and also vetoed the suggestion that American soldiers take part in the operation.
The so-called humanitarian siege to Nicolas Maduro ‘s Chavez regime is one of the forms of pressure that the US and its allies have set up to try to remove the dictator from power.
The opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by the coalition integrated by Brazil as the interim president of the neighbor, asked that the aid begins to enter Saturday (23).
Colombia, home to around 1,000 US military personnel, has begun to set up its aid distribution center near the Venezuelan border city of Cúcuta. There, the United States Air Force operates freely, but Maduro blocked the bridge of Tienditas, which links the two countries, for the passage of medicines and food.
In recent weeks, the US has increased pressure on Brazil for similar cooperation. The Planalto Palace reported that the operation in the region is already done in coordination with the Americans, but ruled out the physical involvement of Washington or Brazilian military personnel across the border.
According to Folha, the State Department assumed the presence of American troops in the operation in Brazil, due to the first contacts on the subject with the chancellor Ernesto Araujo.
The minister is an admirer of President Donald Trump, who considers the West’s hope against a supposed Marxist conspiracy of leftist governments and internationalist activists.
Two weeks ago, he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington. The following week, he spoke to the chief of the US Southern Military Command, Admiral Craig Faller, in Brasilia. The requests for cooperation have been renewed.
According to people close to the talks, both American participation and greater military incisiveness were put on the table. Wanted, the Itamaraty did not comment on this, only stating that the government is struggling to coordinate aid to the Venezuelans.
Historically, the body has advocated non-intervention in domestic affairs in other countries. In the case of Venezuela, the president, Araujo and other ministers have already rejected the idea of a military action to overthrow Maduro, something Trump often aired. The Venezuelan dictator, for his part, maintains that the humanitarian operation is the harbinger of an invasion.
Another element of pressure is in a report in Washington that US National Security Adviser John Bolton waved to Brazil with the possibility of establishing a broad package of military cooperation similar to that with Colombia. Trump’s aide has been with Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) before the president’s inauguration at the end of last year.
The problem is that unrestricted sympathy for the US is not shared at the Brazilian military summit and at the core of outgoing ministers of the Armed Forces in government.
Two short-circuits earlier this year put Araujo under guardianship by the military area when dealing with sensitive issues, according to Folha revealed.
One was the announcement by the president and the chancellor that the US could have a military base in Brazil, something later abandoned. The other, the announcement of the cut of military cooperation with Caracas, the last reliable source of information rack to take the pulse of the local Armed Forces, who are who guarantees the dictatorship of Maduro.
The mere suggestion of having American soldiers on Brazilian soil is seen as heretical by the Ministry of Defense and was discarded. The use of Brazilian military personnel in the setting up of a humanitarian aid center in Pacaraima (Roraima) is obvious since the Army already commands the local operation to receive Venezuelan refugees.
The point of disagreement is the idea of forcing a passage to deliver aid, as requested by Guaidó. The High Command of the Army is against, in which it is accompanied by the military wing in the Executive.
General Hamilton Mourao, the vice-president who has been posted in Venezuela, has already opposed the idea. He and General Augusto Heleno, the chief minister of the Institutional Security Cabinet and Bolsonaro’s top adviser, consider that it is necessary to expect more desertions in the Venezuelan military ranks and the emergence of a rebel leader among them.
If there was an uprising on the side of the neighbor, the cooperation and even entry of Brazilian troops on invitation could be facilitated.
The worsening of the crisis in Venezuela may precipitate the next movements, but the Brazilian Defense is quite fearful to be involved in an eventual civil war of inadvertent way.
To add complexity to the context, Bolsonaro is at a politically fragile time, with the crisis involving former minister Gustavo Bebianno and the difficulties ahead of the reform process.
And any sending of Brazilian troops abroad or eventual permission for a foreign military presence on Brazilian soil needs the approval of a presidential decree by Congress – the Chamber has just defeated Bolsonaro by overthrowing the decision to increase the number of people who can decree secrecy on documents.
In the external area and defense, the preponderant role in the clan is of the federal deputy Eduardo, who endorsed the statement made by the writer Olavo de Carvalho from the name of Araujo.