With soaring inflation and sky rocketing crime rates in Venezuela, it is no surprise that we are now witnessing a familiar pattern play itself out. Young people hold demonstrations to demand reforms, the government cracks down on them, which angers more people and creates more protestors. From Bahrain, to Tunisia, to Egypt, to the Ukraine, a wave of dissatisfaction has reached multiple breaking points all around the world.

Within these movements and counter-movements, it is important to be cautious with what information we take at face value. Propaganda and misinformation runs rampant during times of war and civil unrest.  Recent reports of Cuban Special Forces being flown in to Venezuela to help contain the riots are one example of such information.

Former Cuban intelligence agent, Uberto Mario, has reported that on February 15th, two separate flights arrived in Caracas from Cuba, each loaded with members of Las Avispas Negras, the so-called Black Wasps of Cuban Special Forces. If Venezuela’s socialist government is up against the ropes the way some analysts believe, then it is plausible that Cuba would send man-power and expertise to help shore up one of the only other socialist “revolutionary” nations in the world. Cuba is a country with few allies since the collapse of the USSR.

According to Mario, the Black Wasps spend six months out of the year training, and then rotate back home for another six months. The unit is formally a part of the Ministry of the Interior but works exclusively for Raul Castro, and Fidel before him.