Raúl Isaías Baduel
Raúl Baduel, common name of Raúl Isaías Baduel, born July 6, 1955 in Las Mercedes (Guárico) and died October 12, 2021 in Caracas, is a general-in-chief of the Venezuelan army who was minister of popular power for defense . He is one of the figures of the Venezuelan opposition.
In 1976, he graduated from the School of Military Arts and Sciences at the Military Academy of Venezuela, where he met Hugo Chávez.
He was one of the four founders of the MBR-200, a Bolivarian revolutionary movement, on December 17, 1982, notably with Hugo Chávez.
Shortly after the coup d'état of April 11, 2002, then commander of the Maracay base, he threatened to march on Caracas against the putschist officers. Forty-seven hours after having invested the presidential palace of Miraflores, the putschists are forced to give up power: Chávez returns to the head of state, thanks to his help.
On June 24, 2006, he was appointed Minister of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
On July 18, 2007, he was dismissed from his post and replaced by General-in-Chief Gustavo Reyes Rangel Briceño.
On November 5, 2007, he protested against the constitutional reform approved by the Venezuelan parliament. He asks the Venezuelan people to vote no in the referendum on the December 2 constitution, calling the constitutional reform a "coup". The new "líder of the opposition" is proclaimed. Chávez calls his words a real betrayal; according to him, Baduel would betray his own president and the people. He criticizes in particular the policies of Chávez, accusing him of not creating the socialism of the twenty-first century but of making state capitalism (where the state controls and owns all societies), false socialism, as it had done. USSR with Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
A traditional defender of capitalism, he pleads for the founding of a state that would be able to establish social justice without denying the freedoms of liberal democracy. In particular, he denounces "Marxist orthodoxy, which considers democracy [...] as a simple instrument of bourgeois domination".
In March 2008, at the general assembly of the opposition Podemos party, General Baduel declared: "I have been appointed by divine providence to save the country from the misfortunes it is undergoing".
Conviction and imprisonment
On April 2, 2009, Raúl Baduel was arrested by agents of the Dirección de Inteligencia Militar (DIM - Military Intelligence Directorate) on suspicion of corruption. On May 7, 2010, he was sentenced to seven years and eleven months in prison, convicted of the embezzlement of 30 million bolívars and 3.9 million dollars during his management as minister. Baduel then accused his predecessor and successor ministers of handling the money, and said the motive for his imprisonment was for opposing Chávez.
He is also prohibited from exercising public functions until the end of his sentence; various property was also confiscated. On August 12, 2015, the Venezuelan justice decided to place him under a conditional release regime.
Conditional freedom was lifted in January 2017. Baduel was reincarcerated on March 2, 2017. According to his lawyer, Baduel is in solitary confinement in La Tombe (en) (Spanish: La Tumba), an underground prison with conditions of detention qualified as "torture" White ".
Notes and references
Portal of military history Portal of politics Portal of Venezuela