MEMORANDUM FOR: Special Group (CI)
There tenemoraodam prepared by CIAJ "Tbe Application of Intelligence to the Veneanelaa Insurgency Situation". It le planned to supplement thte materialrief oral statement atec5 meeting of the Special Croup, describing significant recantf acting tha Venesuelaa counter Inurgency elroatloa.
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APPROVED TOd RELEASE
SUBJECT: The Application of Intelligence to the Venezuelan Insurgency Situation
The effective prosecution of the counterinsurgency program in Venezuelan demonstrates the effectiveness of energetic and judicious use of intelligence in dealing with insurgency in its initial stages. Although the insurgency problem in Venezuela is not resolved, the insurgency is contained and controlled. 3 the insurgent situation had passed its incipient stage, guerrilla cadres and units had already been formed and trained in Cuba and were supportedell established communist party in Venezuela. However, it was not untilhat the Government of Venezuela finally acted with firmness and determination to resolve the insurgency problem.
In5 the Venezuelan Government began an intensive and sustained campaign to eliminate the threat to its stability posed by the armed actions of the communist controlled Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). Numberinghe FALN had, since its organizationeveloped guerrilla fronts in the remote mountain regions of the east and west and built up urban brigades capable of carrying out extensive acts of terrorism in the cities.
The high point of FALN activities in the cities was reachedll forms of terrorism were employed in an effort to bringuick overthrow of the government and the year was climaxed by an all-out
campaign to prevent3 presidential elections. Stores and warehouses
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owned by U. S. firms were targets for arson by FALN activists. Oil Installations were bombed and sabotaged. Restaurants were bombed as were theaters. Officers of the Caracas police force and the political police (DIGEPOL) were the victims of assassinations. Constantly seeking publicity, the terrorists kidnapped prominent personalities,ieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army Mission in the fall3olonel in the U, S. Air Force Mission in The FALN's campaign failed however and its leadership was forced to shift tactics and emphasis to the strategy of victoryprolonged struggle" utilising guerrilla warfare. Beginning inhe FALN strengthened its guerrilla forces in the rural areaso. As of late5 guerrillas had tiedarge number of Venezuelan army forces. -
Throughout its development the FALN was favored by the government' unwillingness to take strong action against insurgency or even to admit publicly the existence of an insurgency threat. This reluctance to take action which was based primarily upon political considerations, continued even though foreign support of the insurgents was evident.ache of arms destined for the guerrillas and shipped directly from Cuba was discovered by Venesuelan authorities in Anoung Venezuelans received guerrilla warfare training in Cuba0 Two couriers were arrested in March and5 andarked for the communist party was confiscated.
By the summer5 many Venezuelan Government officials were
finally becoming convinced that the insurgents were not going to disappear
and insurgency in the rural areas was not losing force. In late August,
armed with intelligence
documenting the threat posed by the FALN, the
Director General of the Ministry of Interior briefed President Leoni and received his concurrence torolonged and sustained campaign
campaign got underway in early5 and continues
to gain momentum.
of the counterinsurgency drive include the arrest of the FALN's
national commander followed almost immediately by the location andof his successor. Other prominent insurgent leaders imprisoned include the chief of the FALN's forces in the capital and the commander of the "Fourth of May" guerrilla detachment located in eastern Venezuela. Installations of the FALN were raided and large quantities of arms, commui-cation equipment, and other logistical supplies confiscated.
One of the spectacular finds was the discovery and seizure in late October of an elaborate clandestine arms factory and training center located
iles from Caracas. Housed in subterranean tunnels behind electrically operated steel doors were large stocks of arms, munitions, explosives, and sophisticated arms manufacturing machinery. An elaborate concrete-encased subterranean FALN radio communications center near El Tigre in Eastern Venezuela was seized in early October. Police operations against the guerrillas have resulted in the capture recently of morensurgents in the eastern mountains of Venezuela.
While the FALN is far from eliminated and stillapability to conduct guerrilla warfare and urban terrorism, the government's campaign has been successful in sharply reducing the effectiveness of the insurgents.
ucceiitcs have seriously dampened the morale among the leaders as well as the rank and file members. In addition, the counterinsurgency effort and the failure of the communist strategy of "armed struggle" has further widened the gap between the hard and soft line members of the party. This has prevented unified party action which would be essential to success.