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After FARC was crippled in 2006, evidence came to light of foreign support. Interpol traced it to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. John McCain demanded that Chavez cease and desist, as well as resign. Chavez received massive international condemnation after it was confirmed that he allowed cocaine trafficking through his country. Many analysts were saying that war was going to be inevitable ever since documents with his signature were found in the office of a high-ranking FARC member.
There were protests against the war, but they were much smaller than the OTL Iraq war, given that Chavez has been confirmed to be dealing drugs and is seen as a "clear and present danger". Another startling statistic was that Venezuela helped supply much of the current cocaine market.
1. Operation Cyclone
US/Colombian forces invaded Venezuela with several thousand US Soldiers under the command of General Petraeus. the main Venezuelan forces were smashed in the Amazon forest, their armies no match for AH-64s and M1A2 tanks. The UAVs also played a role in this war.
2. The Latin American Pincer
Brazilian forces sync up with US/Colombian troops. It was decided there would be three Zones of occupation for America in the north, Colombia in the west, and Brazil in the south.
3. Gates of Caracas
Within a week, Caracas was in sight. 3000 Us soldiers, 30 M1 tanks, 5 AH64 Apache helicopters were in the outskirts of the city itself. The fighting was fierce, with 200 US soldiers dead or wounded. Petraeus himself raised an American Flag on Caracas's Capitol.
After Chavez was killed by a stray bullet, and after McCain said "mission accomplished" on an aircraft carrier in occupied Venezuelan waters, Insurgents called "Bolivaros" began to surge. But they were contained effectively within several months, with US soldiers drawing from experience in Iraq and Afghanistan on guerrilla warfare. The UAV was also making an appearance, with it being used to flush out insurgents in the jungles of occupied Venezuela.
Just in time for the elections, the situation in Venezuela improved, with a new parliament and free elections. The results of Venezuela were a great boost for McCain's campaign, alongside the fact that soldiers will be gone by 2010, with the US being very proficient in modern warfare. Many say that it is the main reason he was elected with the biggest landslide in American history against Congressman Kucinich of Ohio (His campaign was seen as a joke by all analysts). By 2009, much of the US soldiers are gone from Venezuela and the drug trade was significantly hampered.
Venezuela is a far more stable country, although there are some insurgents but they are relatively in the minority.