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ARGENTINA planned to invade Venezuela and oust the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro, according to leaked documents unveiled on Sunday.
Investigations by journalist Horacio Verbitsky indicate that former Argentinian president Mauricio Macri was planning a military operation between April and July 2019.
It was to be led by then commander of Argentina’s rapid deployment force General Martin Paleo, who is now chief of staff of the armed forces.
According to the investigation, Operation Puma would have involved the deployment of a multinational force backed by a United Nations resolution, supported by the United States.
At the time, then US president Donald Trump had tried to overthrow Mr Maduro with several attempted coups led by Washington stooge Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan opposition politician.
In 2020’s failed Operation Gideon, which was foiled by the Venezuelan security forces, former US marines intended to install Mr Guaido as a US puppet and kidnap or even assassinate Mr Maduro.
Mr Macri, who was defeated in Argentina’s 2019 presidential election by Alberto Fernandez, was supportive of Washington’s plans for the region and was prepared to support a series of military incursions with the deployment of Argentinian special operations forces.
US Admiral Craig Faller, head of the southern command, visited the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires and met forces cadets to warn against the threat of China and Venezuela, according to the report.
Mr Trump’s national security strategy planned to oust the “anachronistic leftist authoritarian governments of Venezuela and Cuba” because they allow US competitors China and Russia “to expand their military ties and arms sales in the region.”
It was proposed that Argentinian soldiers join the US-backed operations on spurious humanitarian grounds.
"Regardless of the political and moral value of a plan to invade Venezuela in which Argentine soldiers would do the dirty work for the United States, from the tactical point of view, more than two years after the end of Exercise Puma, the assumptions on which it was based have been proved wrong,” Mr Verbitsky said.
“The situation in Venezuela has stabilised, the United Nations has not ordered the formation of any multinational intervention force and the political forces of the ruling party and the opposition are settling their differences at the ballot box,” he pointed out.
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