Mercenaries Invade Venezuela

Mercenaries Invade Venezuela

Venezuela erupted in violence and chaos Sunday as army troops launched multiple attacks against key government positions, bringing bloodshed and unrest to the South American country.

August 31, 2008 CARACAS - Venezuela erupted in violence and chaos Sunday as army troops launched multiple attacks against key government positions, bringing bloodshed and unrest to the South American country.

As of press time it was still not clear who was leading the attacks or why, but unnamed government officials believed they were witnessing a coup by Venezuela 's highest ranking General, Carlos Carmona.

The rumored involvement of an unconfirmed number of mercenaries added to the confusion. In Caracas , witnesses saw one tattooed man enter a private compound, then, after a few minutes, emerged mere seconds before the compound was leveled in a massive explosion. Another mercenary was reportedly seen climbing from a helicopter's landing skid into the cockpit and commandeering the craft in-flight.

With mercenaries having no allegiances and wearing no uniforms, it was not clear for which side these mysterious guns-for-hire were fighting.

Nor was the mercenaries' involvement limited to Caracas . Reports of attacks involving both government forces and mercenaries came in from the western city of Maracaibo at approximately 11 PM local time. Shortly after, news spread of additional fighting in Cumaná and Isla de Margarita in the east. Even the sparsely populated southern state of Amazonas was not spared the violence as opposing government troops clashed at remote outposts.

Government installations in Caracas were the hardest hit in Sunday's apparent coup attempt, with reports of RPGs blowing gaping holes in the Oil Ministry building and two helicopters firing rockets at the President's palace.

Outside of Caracas the rebels also targeted oil operations and infrastructure in an apparent bid to seize control of the country's oil supply. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly one-third of Venezuela 's GDP.

While General Carmona was apparently orchestrating the offensive, an unnamed, high-ranking government official speculated that the true power behind the chaos is billionaire industrialist Ramon Solano.

"Carmona is just the muscle of the operation. He does not have the intelligence or initiative to organize something like this," the official said. "This is the work of that jackal Solano. He is a coward, hiding behind Carmona and the other traitors."

However, not all Venezuelans shared the official's views. "It's about time somebody did something about this corrupt and incompetent regime," said one Caracas business owner. "If Ramon Solano is behind this, that would be a good thing for Venezuela . He is a successful businessman and knows how to get things done."

Solano is said to have long harbored ambitions to become dictator of Venezuela . The only son of drug lord Eduardo Solano, Ramon went to university in the United States and earned an MBA and a degree in International Relations. After returning from his studies abroad, Solano sought to run Venezuela 's Oil Ministry but was rebuffed by government officials. Soon after, rumors spread of Solano amassing the force necessary to overthrow the government.

Some believe Sunday's offensive was his first attempt to seize full control.

Find out more about what's going on in Caracas in Mercenaries 2: World in Flames!
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Mercenaries Invade Venezuela

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