James Roberts writes: "Maduro clings to power, thanks in part to Russian arms, and to the high-tech design and implementation of this new “Fatherland” system of totalitarian control.
And from whom did Maduro (and his Cuban puppet masters) receive this cyber warfare help? From the communist regime of Chinese President Xi Jinping, of course. More precisely, from ZTE, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and software systems that is heavily influenced (if not outright controlled) by the Chinese government. Venezuela’s state-owned telecommunications company is using ZTE equipment.
Venezuela is just the latest of a long list of countries around the world governed by corrupt populist elites with which ZTE has inked contracts (e.g. North Korea and Iran). The Chinese government has no compunctions when it comes to making deals with corrupt governments, as long as those deals advance China’s vision to achieve world domination by 2049 — 100 years after Mao proclaimed that goal.
Just as “Emperor” Xi Jinping is using ZTE technology to power his unprecedented and aggressive implementation of a “social credit” system to monitor the activities and behavior of every one of his own Chinese subjects 24/7, the goal of both regimes is to control of the “hearts and minds” of the people. Dissent or expression of unpopular opinions will not be tolerated.
According to reporting by Reuters, “Fatherland” ID cards are used by the Maduro regime to monitor the 18 million citizens (half the population) who already have the cards. That means keeping track of their comments on social media, deciding which ones will get food subsidies and discounts on their power and water bills or lower local transportation fares, recording details about their personal finances, and whether they have earned enough “social credits” to obtain a wide range of public services (e.g. passports) or whether their kids can get into better schools.
The government is also using the cards to learn their political party affiliation and to make sure that Venezuelans vote. To ensure they vote “correctly,” the ID cards are also being used to create a mobile payment system for use with the card and to control access to food and medicine by desperate people who are literally starving to death amidst the economic ruins wrought by 20 years of socialism under Maduro and his mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, in what was once one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries.
[James Roberts, “As Maduro’s Grip on Venezuela Slips, China’s ZTE Helps Him Cling to Power,” Daily Caller, January 27]