The Hybrid War on Venezuela just took a dark turn – literally – after the US used cyber weapons and insider sabotage to attack the country’s power grid last week, cutting off most of its electricity and creating a chain reaction of negative consequences all throughout the Bolivarian Republic. According to unverified reports cited in one of RT’s recent articles on the topic, the Guri hydroelectric power plant – which provides 80% of the country’s power – failed (possibly due to a cyberattack), which was followed by an explosion at the Sidor Substation that was sustaining most of the country’s power in the aftermath of the aforementioned.
The nationwide blackout undoubtedly led to a worsening of living standards for Venezuela’s over 31 million people, affecting everything from the availability of food supplies to hospital services and creating an insecure environment that’s proved irresistible for looters, though it’s unclear at this moment whether the majority of its citizens believe the American narrative that their own government’s incompetence and corruption is to blame.
Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Senator from Florida, has quickly emerged as one of the most high-profile public faces of the US’ Hybrid War on Venezuela after he attributed the suffering of the South American nation’s people to Maduro in a provocative post that he made on Twitter, which follows other controversial ones in recent weeks such as implying that Chavez’s successor will meet a similar fate as former Libyan leader Gaddafi or former Panamanian one Noriega.
These messages are part of the US’ so-called “strategic communications” strategy for carrying out psychological and information warfare against the Bolivarian Republic, but they’re supposed to come off as “authentic” because Rubio is Hispanic, with the innuendo being that the” brains” behind this campaign think that the target audience will believe what’s being said just because it’s being conveyed by someone with a similar ethno-cultural identity as them. It’s not known whether this simplistic pandering will appeal to Venezuelans in the future, but it has thus far failed to be successful.
Despite the years of on-and-off Color Revolution unrest and the highly publicized “humanitarian aid” provocation that recently took place at the Venezuelan-Colombian border, the US hasn’t managed to unseat Maduro from office despite its non-stop attempts to do so. It was also recently revealed by none other than Trump’s Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams himself in a call with Russian pranksters that the US isn’t seriously considering an invasion of the South American state but is only trying to put maximum pressure on its military so that they either defect from their ranks or stage a coup at Washington’s behest. If he was being sincere, then this implies that the US wants to cut the costs of this rolling regime change operation by keeping its involvement to a minimum and only indirectly intervening at strategic moments in order to add momentum to the anti-government movement, which would explain the latest sanctions and the coordinated cyber-sabotage attack against the country’s power grid.
The weaponization of chaos theory is the central tenet of Hybrid Warfare, and it’s especially applicable for analyzing the reason why the US wanted to shut down Venezuela’s electricity at this specific point in time. Taking advantage of the fact that the country is overly dependent on a single power station (the Guri hydroelectric plant), it was comparatively easy for the US to pull off this covert operation aimed at triggering a domino effect of destabilization all throughout the Bolivarian Republic, one which is intended to heighten anti-government sentiment and increase the odds that a final wave of Color Revolution unrest can be unleashed for overthrowing Maduro.
To assist with this, it’s also possible that American special forces might exploit the electricity cutoff in order to more easily infiltrate across the border and transfer more arms to their anti-government allies on a scale that they wouldn’t be able to do if Venezuela’s border defenses were properly up and running.
Bearing the abovementioned insight in mind, it can be said that the cyberattack and sabotage against Venezuela’s power grid is a Hybrid War provocation with several interconnected objectives. The first is to reinforce the psychological preconditioning operation against the targeted Venezuelan audience by making them think that Maduro’s ouster is imminent, which could in turn inspire some civilians to take to the streets to launch a final Color Revolution push against him concurrent with members of the military defecting to join their side, both of whom might be more motivated by their deteriorating living conditions caused by the blackout than ideological factors.
It should also be assumed that the US is taking advantage of the situation to infiltrate large amounts of arms and other material to its anti-government allies in an attempt to actualize Rubio’s public plans for sparking “widespread unrest” in the country. None of this implies that the regime change operation will finally succeed, but just that the danger that this latest phase poses shouldn’t be underestimated.
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This article was originally published on InfoRos.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from InfoRos