Otálvora Report: Maduro hides behind Lula after threatening Guyana

Following the threat of military action against Guyana made by the foreign minister of the Chavista regime, Yvan Gil, during a meeting of foreign and defense ministers held in Brasilia on 22NOV23, the Guyanese government informed its international partners about the position announced by the envoy from Maduro. Guyana, as a member of the Commonwealth, maintains a special relationship with the United Kingdom, its former metropolis and on 24DEC23, the British Ministry of Defense announced that its patrol ship HSM Trent (P224), which was beginning operations in the Caribbean, would pay a visit to Guyanese waters. “HMS Trent will visit regional ally and Commonwealth partner Guyana later this month as part of a series of engagements in the region during her Atlantic Patrol Task deployment,” a British ministry source told 23DEC23 the BBC.

The presence of the HSM Trent in Caribbean waters, coming from the west coast of Africa, responded to a rotation of British warships. The Trent replaced HMS Medway (P223) which previously carried out counter-narcotics duties in the Caribbean and went into maintenance in Gibraltar. On 29DEC23 HSM Trent, anchored off the coast of Guyana east of the Essequibo River, received a visit from Brigadier Omar Khan, head of the Guyana military command, who arrived accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller. It was a visit of military diplomacy and not of military exercises. The main armament of the British patrol boat is a 30mm cannon and two 50 caliber heavy machine guns, very efficient in ship interception operations, but without representing a military threat against any country.

Meanwhile, in Caracas, the regime had ordered the execution of a “defensive” military operation since 28DEC23 to confront the British patrol boat. The regime announced that more than five thousand military personnel from the Army, Navy, Aviation, National Guard and Bolivarian Militia would participate in the “General Domingo Sifontes Joint Action,” with the mobilization of combat aircraft, including the few F16 combat aircraft that remain operational. in Venezuela, Sukhoi combat aircraft, helicopters, as well as frigates, transport ships and a long list of military equipment. In turn, Maduro complained to Lula da Silva accusing the Guyanese president, Irfaan Ali, of violating the so-called “Argyle Declaration” signed in Saint Vincent of the Grenadines on DEC 1423 in which Maduro and Irfaan Ali agreed “that Guyana and Venezuela , directly or indirectly, will not threaten or use force against each other under any circumstances.” Given that this declaration made Lula the virtual arbiter of Guyana Esequiba, on DEC 2923 the Brazilian Foreign Ministry issued a statement, at the request of Maduro, in which it stated that “the Brazilian government believes that military demonstrations in support of any party should be avoided.” , so that the ongoing dialogue process can give results.”

On 31DEC23, the Chavista Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino, made it known that his boss had ordered the “withdrawal” of part of the “aeronaval assets” supposedly mobilized for the visit of the British ship to Guyana. At that time the HMS Trent was already sailing towards Barbados to continue its anti-drug operations. According to a graphic shown by regime TV channels, the ship departed from Guyana waters that are not in dispute. The military deployment ordered by Maduro, if it had actually been carried out, was a propaganda reaction that confirms the internal political motive that drives the sudden interest of Chavismo in the issue of the territorial claim of Guyana Esequiba.


Although Venezuela suffers a recurring electricity generation crisis that leads to routine blackouts and rationing in the interior of the country, the governments of Maduro and Lula da Silva, in the company of a Brazilian business group friendly to Chavismo, are planning businesses for export. of electricity to Brazil.

On 07MAR19, faced with the systematic drop in electricity supply from Venezuela and aggravated by political tensions between the government of Jair Bolsonaro and the de facto government of Maduro, Brazil decided to suspend the consumption of electricity from the Guri dam in Venezuela. The line that connects Guri with the state of Roraima in the northern Brazilian Amazon began to be negotiated during the governments of Rafael Caldera in Venezuela and Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil. Finally, its construction was ordered by Hugo Chávez who ordered military forces to violently repress indigenous communities that opposed the project. In 2001, the connection to supply Venezuelan electricity to the state of Roraima was inaugurated by Chávez, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Fidel Castro. The electricity business remained in state hands: Electronorte for Brazil and Corpoelec for Venezuela.

The deterioration of the Venezuelan electrical system over two decades of Chavista government also began to impact Roraima due to voltage drops and blackouts, the only Brazilian state not connected to Brazil’s electrical generation and distribution network. The mega blackout of 07MAR19 in Venezuela also impacted the Brazilian north dependent on electricity from the Guri dam. The Bolsonaro government’s decision was to indefinitely suspend the purchase of Venezuelan electricity, which is why Roraima returned to the use of local thermoelectric generation.

In 2019, Bolsonaro resumed the project of building a line of just over 700 kilometers that connects Roraima with the state of Amazonas. Although the power line would be built parallel to the existing BR-174 highway, the Brazilian left has opposed the project, alleging that it crosses lands of the “Waimiri Atroari Indigenous Territory.” Environmental permits and the alleged rejection of the Waimiri-Atroari indigenous people have paralyzed the execution of a project that Bolsonaro had declared to be of “interest for the national defense” of Brazil.


Brazilian businessmen Joesley and Wesley Batista, owners of the JBS company, considered the largest producer of animal proteins in the world, designed the scheme to take over the business of importing electricity from Venezuela and eventually obtaining Brazilian state subsidies. The Batistas have been suppliers to the Venezuelan regime and in 2015 they hosted Diosdado Cabello, the Chavista co-ruler, who visited Brazil to review meat purchasing deals by Venezuela. In 2017, Joesley Batista entered the Planalto Palace, the Brazilian presidential headquarters, for an audience with then-president Michel Temer. Using a hidden recording system, Batista obtained audio from Temer as part of a collaboration agreement with the Brazilian prosecutor’s office. The Batistas had been notorious financiers of the 2014 electoral campaign in favor of PT Dilma Rousseff.

A few months after Lula’s return to the presidency of Brazil, on 01JAN23, the Batista brothers were already in connection with the Chavista regime to set up a business in Venezuelan electricity. As reported by the Brazilian magazine Piauí on 19DEC23, the Batista brothers, through their company Ambar Comercializadora de Energía, were negotiating in March 2023 with a private company from Venezuela for the purchase of electricity. At that time, according to Piauí, Ambar officially notified the Lula government about the negotiations in process “with the private Venezuelan company authorized (by the Chavista regime) to export energy from Guri.” Given that electricity generation in Venezuela is in state hands, the deal would imply that the Chavista dictatorship is preparing to sell electricity to an unidentified private Venezuelan company, which in turn would sell it to Brazilian businessmen who would finally bill it. to Brazilian consumers. The issue was discussed directly by Lula and Maduro on 29MAY23 in Brasilia.

Lula has shown particular haste in starting the electricity business in the scheme invented by the Batista brothers. In addition to announcing the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Maduro a few hours after returning to the Presidency, the Lula government made known its interest in reestablishing the Venezuelan electricity supply, accusing Bolsonaro of having cut it off for “ideological” reasons. In early March, Ambar notified Brazil’s Minister of Mines and Energy of progress in negotiations with a private Venezuelan company. On 04AUG23, Lula issued a decree to facilitate the import of electricity from Venezuela.

On 13SEP23, Ambar informed the Lula government that he had already signed a contract with the “private company” authorized by Maduro to negotiate Venezuelan electricity. In that communication, as reported by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo on DEC 1123, the Batista company included the document “Proposal for the Importation of Electrical Energy from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” which included the prices at which it intended to sell the electricity to Brazil. That proposal was sent on 19SEP23 to the “Comitê de Monitoramento do Setor Elétrico” chaired by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Silveira, which approved Ambar’s offer on 25OCT23 and sent it to the National Electrical Energy Agency. On 24OCT23, Silveira was in Caracas to agree on details with his counterpart Néstor Reverol. On 30NOV23, the ministerial resolution authorizing Ambar as the sole importer of electricity from Venezuela was published in the Official Gazette of the Union. On 19DEC23, the National Agency approved the pricing structure proposed by Ambar, which does not correspond to electricity generated in a hydroelectric plant. Everything indicates that Lula’s government has favored the Batista brothers’ company by approving their business without bidding and authorizing the charging of rates comparable to those for thermal electricity generation.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, daily electricity rationing persists for several hours in most of the country’s cities.


The Nicaraguan dictatorship would have created and put into operation a command for the monitoring and eventual murder of exiled opponents in Costa Rica. The version spreads in Costa Rican political media after the attack suffered by Nicaraguan Joao Maldonado on 10JAN24.