Venezuela: It first received electromagnetic attacks and now missiles against refineries

The Citizen
6 min readNov 7, 2020


The United States is dedicated to intensifying the attack on the oil industry. It does so with a total blockade of commercial transactions and the hijacking of the CITGO refinery

In 2019, after the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó as the supposed “interim president”, the United States (US) intensified the attacks against Venezuela. The US specifically targeted the National Electric System (SEN) and the oil industry. But, it not only attacks by imposing a total blockade on the country and with international sabotage. It also attacks with war actions aimed at literally destroying the infrastructure of these priority industries for the lives of Venezuelans.

In March 2019, there was a failed attempt to invade Venezuela with paramilitary groups from Cúcuta, Colombia. Weeks later, an attack with electromagnetic (EPM) and cybernetic pulses was perpetrated to destroy the Automated Regulatory Control System of the El Guri hydroelectric plant.

That attack produced an almost total blackout in Venezuela, which left more than 70% of the country without electricity. Immediately, the United States and the extremist sectors of the opposition blamed the government of Nicolás Maduro. They even mocked when the electromagnetic attack, considered a geophysical weapon, was denounced.

An electromagnetic pulse of important characteristics can be detonated in the upper atmosphere in different ways. The effects of the detonation of an EMP are both direct and indirect.

Effects of electromagnetic ‘shock’

The first are due to the electromagnetic “shock” and stress caused on the electrical systems on the ground. Once damaged and destroyed the electronic controls, then the damage spreads to connected systems.

The effect of the attack is that of a cascade. Damaged electrical systems can affect media infrastructure, key companies, financial systems and others.

In 2019, the attacks against the SEN were repeated. On several occasions, while the Government tried to recover the damage to the system and gradually incorporate the most affected regions (some lasted more than 15 days without the electricity supply) electromagnetic pulses were used again to bring down the transmission lines.

All this caused a process of programmed electricity rationing to begin. Unfortunately, this is still applied in the vast majority of the country, except in the capital Caracas. The objective of this programmed electricity rationing is to solve the problems caused and ensure that the SEN is robust and can function normally.

Attacks on the oil industry in Venezuela

At the same time, the United States is also dedicated to intensifying the attack on the oil industry. It does so with a total blockade of commercial transactions and the hijacking of the CITGO refinery, located in Texas. It also imposes a ban that authoritatively affects PDVSA and does not allow it to export crude oil or import gasoline, derivatives and spare parts for refineries and machinery.

A year ago, the Strategic Operational Command of the Armed Forces confirmed the incursion of several drones that flew over Amuay. This complex is the largest and most important of its kind in Venezuela. The event occurred between 2:30 and 3:00 in the morning.

Then, on September 11, Venezuelan authorities captured a CIA spy identified as Matthew John Heath. He belonged to the mercenary contractor MVM and worked in Iraq from 2006 to 2016. He worked there as a communications operator in a secret base of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Terrorists captured

According to the attorney general, Tarek William Saab, the mission of the US spy was to carry out criminal and terrorist actions. His objective was to sabotage important sectors such as the national electricity service and the oil industry. Heath entered Venezuela from Colombia, through an illegal trail (trocha) and into the state of Zulia.

When Heath was captured, he was with three other men of Venezuelan nationality in a vehicle loaded with weapons. They highlighted an 84 mm AT4 grenade launcher, a 9 mm caliber UZI submachine gun; four rectangular pieces of suspected explosive material (C4) and foreign currency money. In addition, they had a satellite phone, three cell phones, plans of the refinery, a cap with a logo alluding to a State agency, among other personal items.

“This citizen was the one who carried a satellite phone, which he refuses to unlock (…) on the US citizen were found photographs of oil and military facilities in Zulia and Falcón. In the inspection of the vehicle, a coin that links him to the CIA was found inside one of the bags. It is presumed that he works or worked for the Agency”, explained Saab.

Missile strikes

Following these incidents, on October 29, President Nicolás Maduro reported on a military attack for terrorists purposes. This had been carried out with a missile and against a tower of the Amuay refinery.

The action was intended to cause gigantic damage to the main crude distiller of the Venezuelan oil industry. But, it was unsuccessful because the tower was under maintenance.

Another objective of the attack was to cause a chain reaction with unimaginable damage to the refinery and its surroundings. This would have meant a monumental tragedy with dozens of fatalities.

After the attack, the Venezuelan authorities cordoned off the strategic area and are conducting the corresponding investigations. The government hopes to determine how the attack was done, from where and how the missile was launched. They also want to know the type of weapon and caliber they used.

The most recent action against the oil industry was confirmed by President Maduro. On the afternoon of Saturday, October 31, a petrochemical facility located in the state of Zulia was attacked again.

“Yesterday there was another terrorist attack against the El Tablazo facilities”, Maduro said about the petrochemical complex located on the eastern coast of Zulia.

Maduro, who has personally been a victim of these attacks, survived the assassination attempt carried out with drones against him in 2018. He did not offer further details about this event, the second in less than two weeks.

But, Maduro did warn that these types of incidents will surely occur again in Venezuela. Likewise, they will act against the main sectors of the country, as well as basic public services such as water, gas, electricity, food and medicine.



The Citizen

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