The last direct combat between the Armed Forces of the United States, on the one hand, and Cuba and the Soviet Union, on the other, occurred only 160 kilometers from Venezuela. It was in October of 1983 when the US invaded the island of Granada, a country aligned with the Soviet Union that was on the verge of a civil war. 19 Americans, 2 Soviets, and 25 Cubans died. The Cuban rumor mill says that when the more than 600 prisoners made by the US on the island arrived in Havana, Fidel Castro ordered them to cut sugar cane as punishment for having surrendered.Now, 35 years later, the possibility that the US, Cuba, and Russia – the heiress of the USSR – will clash again has been posted in the same region. This time, in Venezuela. Washington does not stop saying, as the Assistant Secretary of State for Affairs of the Americas, Kimberly Breier, said in a press conference with European journalists on Thursday, that “although our policy is based on a peaceful transition, we have made it very clear that all the options are on the table. “In Venezuela there are already hundreds or thousands of people from the Cuban security apparatus that control the Venezuelan State , to which are added between several dozens and 400 Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group company that constitute what the professor of the Army War College of the United States Robert Ellis qualifies in a telephone interview with THE WORLD of “palace guard of Nicolás Maduro”. As Erick Langer, a professor at Georgetown University, of whose Center for Latin America, was a director, as we discussed a possible US military intervention, “Cuba and Russia have already intervened.”Washington has not saved symbolism to show that it is willing to intervene. The clearest case was that of the National Security Adviser, John Bolton, when he appeared on Monday at a press meeting at the White House with a notebook with the annotation “5,000 soldiers to Colombia. ” A few words that, for Langer, “were a pure show in the classic style of Donald Trump to be stronger than it is,” explains Langer.Technical and political difficulties Also, it is one thing to write “5,000 soldiers” and another very different to send 5,000 soldiers. And more if Colombia, as is the case, does not want to. Leaving aside the small detail that with 5,000 soldiers does not go anywhere. In 1983, the US employed 7,300 soldiers to invade Granada, an island with half the area of the Doñana National Park and a population slightly lower than that of Alcobendas.Now, apply the same ratio to a country like Venezuela, with 30 million inhabitants and a size equal to that of Spain, Italy, and Portugal combined, with a geography that ranges from impenetrable forests to insurmountable mountains, in a situation of political chaos and institutional, with the state apparatus collapsing, and large sectors of the economy and territory controlled by drug trafficking mafias and illegal gold mining.Invading such a country requires tens of thousands of soldiers if not more than 100,000. And it’s not just the technical difficulty. There is also politics. Trump is an isolationist and, as Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, the most influential think tank in Latin America in the United States, affirms, “a US military action against Venezuela would be contrary to the Trump government’s movements to withdraw troops from Syria or Afghanistan. “It is one thing to win the war and, another, peaceAnd, apart, there is another problem. The United States would win the war without any difficulty. But would he win the peace? That is, would it prevent chaos from happening as in Iraq after the successful 2003 US invasion?That is an even greater challenge because Venezuela already has elements of a failed state, and a military occupation could exacerbate the chaos. It is a problem that is compounded by the fact that the Chavistas would try to organize a guerrilla war. As Ellis explains, “the Venezuelan military doctrine since the time of Chavez has been based on making the Armed Forces an army of resistance.” That same expert, however, believes that chaos is more likely to be structured around the control of illegal resources and traffic – especially cocaine – than for ideological reasons.Ellis has one thing clear: “To avoid the risk of chaos, a well-thought-out transition is necessary, agreed with the military, and allows Cuba and Russia to save face.” Venezuela has already generated more than three million refugees, the highest figure in the world after Syria. No one in the region wants a transition to chaotic democracy, with or without US troops, that aggravates that refugee problem.Surgical attacks, more than an invasion, if there was some US intervention, it is very likely that this was not an invasion, but, rather, surgical or limited attacks. Ellis points out some possible scenarios: interventions to support the diplomats of the US embassy in Caracas in case they were attacked; actions to defend the territorial integrity of Colombia if Venezuela – and especially its National Guard, the most ideological element of the regime – carries out destabilizing or provocative actions against that country; or missions to capture high-ranking Venezuelan officials involved in drug trafficking if the government of Juan Guaidó achieves massive international support and manages to mobilize Interpol or other organizations to fight against the elements of chavism that are part of crime networks. To achieve that, Guaidó not only needed more foreign support, but the US should count on its allies in the region to carry out any military action. That means Colombia and Brazil from the logistical point of view and the contribution of troops, and the OAS to give legitimacy to the operation, given that the Russian veto in the UN Security Council makes it virtually impracticable. green light ‘from that organism to an intervention.Otherwise, a unilateral US attack on Venezuela could be a political catastrophe. As José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of the NGO Observatory of Human Rights (Human Rights Watch) states, “the mere fact that Donald Trump was seriously considering a military operation could blow up the international alliance that has been forged against Mature.”But there is also another possibility that opens the door to an intervention: the total collapse of the State in Venezuela. For Marco Vicenzino, the political risk consultancy Global SP is the most likely choice for an intervention that, like other experts consulted, agrees that should be multilateral and regional.”If there is an extreme humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that will gather an intervention, it would be carried out collectively by the countries of the region, that is, not only the US but others, especially Brazil and Colombia, the neighbors of Venezuela that already They are bearing the brunt of the massive arrival of refugees and the consequences of the economic collapse of the country, “explains Vicenzino.