Venezuela to Send Troops to Train at Bolivia’s ‘Anti-Imperialist’ Military Academy

The school is seen as the anti-School of the Americas, which the U.S. used to train Latin American soldiers in torture and counterinsurgency methods.

Venezuela will send troops to train at Bolivia’s "anti-imperialist" military academy, the country's defense minister announced Monday.

RELATED: Bolivia Opens New 'Anti-Imperialist' Military Academy

"I have been instructed by Mr. Pdte @ NicolasMaduro to send FANB military professionals to train in Bolivia's Anti-imperialist School," Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced on his Twitter account.

The announcement came shortly after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met briefly with Bolivian President Evo Morales at the airport in Maiquetía, Venezuela, with Morales en route to New York for the U.N. Oceans summit.

Morales expressed his solidarity with Maduro, as Venezuela continues to suffer from political turmoil and sometimes violent anti-government protests that have resulted in the deaths of at least 73 people since April.

The Juan José Torres Anti-Imperialist School was created in November 2015, but officially opened in August of last year. Soldiers from Venezuela’s National Bolivarian Armed Forces, known by its Spanish acronym FANB, will attend the school that seeks to change the "repressive and imperialist" doctrines of military entities.

“We want to build anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed forces to social movements and counteracts the influence of the School of the Americas that always saw the indigenous as internal enemies,” said Morales at the opening of the school.

The School of the Americas, later renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, was started during the Cold War to provide "anti-communist counterinsurgency training" to soldiers from U.S.-allied right-wing nations. Its graduates have gone on to be dictators, war criminals and death squad members, with notorious alumni including former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, Salvadoran death squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson, and former Bolivian dictator Hugo Banzer Suarez. In 1996 the New York Times, in an editorial titled the "School of Dictators," revealed that the school taught torture.

"A training manual recently released by the Pentagon recommended interrogation techniques like torture, execution, blackmail and arresting the relatives of those being questioned," the newspaper reported.

RELATED: Bolivia to Prioritize Occupation of Palestine During UN Security Council Presidency

The "anti-imperialist" school was built as a political and ethical commitment to the country and teaches history, geopolitics and military strategy. It also prepares pupils in the specialties of piloting, air defense and operational support.

Last week, Morales delivered a new Jatun Puma helicopter and two Cessna aircrafts to the military school and announced plans for more training aircraft to train cadets and officers of the Bolivian Air Force.

“All this is possible because we have changed the economic model of our country, thanks to the struggle of social movements,” Morales said.

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280 Cases of Ultra-Right Extremists Investigated in the German Army

Berlin, May 3 (Prensa Latina) Military intelligence services are currently investigating 280 cases of possible right-wing extremists in the ranks of the German army, the Defense Ministry informed today.

This political inclination was the main reason for the expulsion of 18 soldiers between 2012 and 2016, said the aforementioned ministry in reference to the phenomenon extended to the armed forces of the central European country.

These alarming figures come to light in the wake of the arrest of a lieutenant (identified as Franco A.) for identifying himself as a Syrian asylum seeker to - allegedly - commit a xenophobic attack, the source adds.

Due to the alarming incident, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen yesterday her visit to the United States to visit the unit where the soldier was, in a French town near the border with Germany.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Steffen Seibert told a news conference that Von der Leyen has 'full support' from Chancellor Angela Merkel to settle the matter.

Despite her quick response, the minister is currently criticized in the military sector for questioning the firmness of the military to deal with issues as delicate as that of Franco A. and its subsequent outcome, which could hinder the course of the investigation.

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China, Cuba pledge further development of military-to-military relations

Chinese Defense Minister and State Councilor Chang Wanquan on Wednesday held talks with visiting Cuban Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces Leopoldo Cintra Frias.

Chang said China is willing to work with Cuba to implement important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and make positive contributions to the development of military-to-military relations.

As an important part of China-Cuba ties, military-to-military relations are characterized by a solid foundation, strong vitality and broad development prospects, Chang said.

Cintra said Cuba is willing to continue enhancing pragmatic exchanges and cooperation with China in all fields and at all levels, and elevate military-to-military relations to a higher level.

Cuba is grateful to China for its support and help over the years, according to Cintra.

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USA Demands NATO Members to Increase Military Spending

The United States demanded today that the other member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) increase military expenditures and contributions to the alliance before the end of 2017.

At a press conference, US Vice President Mike Pence indicated that the White House offers until the end of the year for Canada and European allies to make 'real progress' in their investments in defense and the distribution of financial burdens in the group.

The statement came after a meeting here with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who agreed with the positions of the US executive.

According to Pence, the United States wants the allies to 'keep their promise and do more for our common defense,' and asserted that President Donald Trump 'expects real progress by the end of 2017.'

Currently, the northern power government covers more than 70 percent of the cost of NATO, and 'we are committed to our part, but the time has come for the allies to take a step forward,' the representative of the White House said.

Many allies, some of the largest, still fail to meet the target of rising their spending on defense to two percent of Gross Domestic Product in a decade as agreed in 2014 during a NATO summit in Wales, he said.

'Our country has made continuous investments in European security and we see that the European countries are left behind,' he stressed.

According to Pence, Stoltenberg's 'leadership' in NATO places the increase in defense spending as 'first priority', which satisfies his country.

'Europeans cannot ask for more from the United States if they do not commit more,' Stoltenberg said.

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Russia Attacks Syrian Terrorists with Strategic Bombers

Moscow, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) Russia attacked with six TU-22M3 strategic bombers camps, weapons and ammunition stores, as well as troops from the Islamic State (EI) terrorist movement in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

Russian control mechanisms confirmed the destruction of all programmed targets after bombers flew over Iraq and Iranian airspace to carry out their mission, according to a statement from the Defense Ministry.

In the operation, SU-30MS and SU-35S fighters sheltered the bombers, after leaving Jmeimim air base in the Syrian province of Latakia, the official statement said.

All the air ships returned from the mission without complications, emphasizes the Ministry of Defense, which issued a similar part last Saturday.

The city of Deir ez-Zor has been besieged for several weeks by the EI, which took peripheral areas through the mass use of car bombs and suicide bombers, media reports say.

The attack of the EI against the locality intensified as the approaching start of this day in Astana, the Kazakh capital, of the first direct talks between heads of armed groups and representatives of the Syrian government.

Contrary to many in the West, who wagered on the continuity of the conflict in an attempt to remove President Bashar Al Assad from power, the Astana meeting brought together leaders of 13 armed opposition groups.

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More than 30 Syrian Military Personnel Killed near Damascus

Damascus, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) More than 30 Syrian military personnel were killed this morning following a bomb attack on the headquarters of the Army Transportation Administration in the town of Harasta, four kilometers east of Damascus, official sources confirmed.

According to early reports, the explosive charge of almost two tons was introduced through a tunnel leading to the four-story building, which was completely destroyed.

Preliminary reports indicated that among the 33 victims is General Bilal Bilal and three other senior officers.

The sources added that after the confusion and chaos reigning, armed elements attacked the nearby capital neighborhood of Jobar, but were rejected.

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Russia scales down military presence in Syria, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to leave first

The Russian Navy is returning the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its group from the Mediterranean Sea back to Russia, the defense ministry reports. The move comes as Russia begins reducing its military presence in Syria.

The Kuznetsov group will return to its home base in Severomorsk, the chair of the Russian General Staff, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov, announced on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial pullout of military forces from Syria after negotiating a ceasefire deal with Iran and Turkey. He said it offered an opportunity to end the six-year armed conflict in the Middle Eastern nation.

The Kuznetsov was deployed to Syria in mid-October 2016, accompanied by three other warships and several support ships. In addition to using its warplanes to target militant forces, the group used its Mediterranean mission to train in joint action with other branches of the Russian military, Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov, commander of the Russian forces in Syria, said.

This included interaction with warplanes deployed to the Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia, interaction with shore-based Bastion cruise missile batteries, and establishing joint air defense over Syria involving both ground-based and ship-based anti-aircraft systems.

All combat tasks assigned to the aircraft carrier group have been accomplished,” Kartapolov said.

As the Russian military pulls out of Syria, Damascus reiterated its gratitude for Russia’s help in the conflict.

“The support that the Russian Air Force offered was crucial for our victories, which paved the way for a ceasefire and created the conditions for launching a political settlement of the Syrian crisis,” the chair of the general staff of the Syrian armed forces, Lt. General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, said, as reported by RIA Novosti.

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Ukraine Announces Demobilization in Armed Forces

Kiev, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) Ukraine completed a sixth wave of demobilization in the Armed Forces, and will send only professionals to the region of conflict in Donbass, said Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian military.

During a meeting with President Peter Poroshenko, Muzhenko said that those serving in the troops deployed in Donbass have been changed to a contract regime.

'The armed forces must be composed of well-prepared and armed professionals and volunteers,' said Poroshenko in response to reports that many men in Ukraine have fled abroad to avoid being recruited and sent to the conflict zone.

The exodus of men of ages between 18 and 50 years has increased as the conflict in Donetsk and Lugansk has intensified.

Ukrainian authorities extended the call to military service beyond 18 years to extend military enrollment beyond the age of 45, in order to address the shortage of staff in the punitive operation against the aforementioned rebel regions.

Although there have been repeated violations, the ceasefire in Donbass and withdrawal of heavy war materiel from the front line is still in force, but analysts suspect that Kiev is readying an offensive with a better-equipped army.

The number of professionals in the military reached 90,000 between 2014 and 2016, the government announced.

Poroshenko signed in last October 26th a demobilization law for those who were enrolled in August 2015, leaving only professionals in the Ukrainian coal-mining region of Donbass.

However, Alexander Turchinov, Secretary of the National Security Council and one of the main figures in the coup of February 2014, said recently that should the conflict break out again, the state will carry out a new mobilization.

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