January 20, 2006:
Three years ago, the United States withdrew U.S. Army Special Forces instructors, who had been training Venezuelan special operations soldiers. Venezuela has resumed that training, using several hundred instructors from the Chinese special forces (Quantou Budui). The Chinese have been in Venezuela for about six months, and are training Venezuelan troops in recon techniques, and counter-terrorism tactics. The Chinese speak good Spanish, and are apparently enjoying their assignment. Over a hundred other Chinese troops are also providing personal security for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. China has also sent some intelligence specialists, who are helping Venezuela to upgrade their military intelligence capabilities. The Chinese are apparently very interested in finding out about the training techniques used by the American Special Forces instructors, and the Venezuelans are telling all they know.