Venezuelan Military Officers are Expensively Educated in Belarus far from Billo’s Cadets

August 29, 2011

It was a famous Billo’s song, the type of music that every Venezuelan has danced to at one point in their lives:

Por la puerta de mi casa en correcta formación
van pasando los cadetes que hoy están de graduación
unos son de la marina, otros son de la aviación
otros guardias nacionales y oficial en formación
La marina tiene un barco, la aviación tiene un avión
los cadetes tienen sable y la guardia su cañon
pero lo que más me gusta y me llena de emoción
es que pasen por mi casa en correcta formación

I guess the Cadetes are no more. Or at least, the Chavez Government wants a different type of Cadete. Why do I say that? Because under line 47 of the Fonden Papers, you can read:

“Providing training services for forty (40) cadets of the Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela, according to the Program of Study of the Military Academy of Belarus”

Approved for the project: US$ 9,931,928.55, yeah, about ten million bucks!

Thus, we are talking in Fonden nomenclature (down to the cent) of US$ 248,298.21 per cadet.

Definitely not your Billo’s Caracas Boys Cadets at that price. In the sixties, you could get Billo to play 10 sets for about US$ 1,100 in one evening. But I digress.

Now, I don’t know how long it takes to train a cadet, but given that they are trainees, it is hard to imagine it can take longer than three years. It just so happens, that the Belarus Embassy in Italy has a brochure for the Military Academy and it clearly says that tuition is about US$ 5,900 per year on page 124 or maybe as high as US$ 6,000 per year in page 125. Let’s be generous, let’s give each cadet US$ 2,000 per month in stipend and the total cost comes to US$ 80,000 per cadet. Thus, either the Belarussians or someone else must be pocketing some US$ 168,298.21 dollars per cadet. No?

Sounds like the Cuban health outsourcing deal once again, but this time with Belarus.

But unless the Belarus Military Academy can turn Venezuelan trainees into super human military officers, why can’t the Venezuelan Military Academy train 40 cadets per year? I am sure they could use those 9,931,928.55 bucks in their budget.

And the cadets could march to Billos’ songs to boot!

26 Responses to “Venezuelan Military Officers are Expensively Educated in Belarus far from Billo’s Cadets”

  1. firepigette Says:


    One of my sons got a master degree 4 years ago in Belarus, in the best music academy- I paid 3,000 dollars a year for 2 years, much less than anything here in the US would cost.

    This is the normal price they charge foreigners for this program which is more than citizens pay , but not that much really.

    Even when factoring he extra costs of Military academy, the price difference is outrageous.Obviously many people are lining their pockets with this one.

  2. Fred Says:

    I don’t understand the need to call people names like Chavez does.

    Luis gave his opinion on the fact that people were there and why, as far as he knew. Comments after that indicated the in fact those people weere in Belarus. A simple “Luis, I don’t agree, that’s not why they’re not there, they’re there because ……..” would’ve been enough. An explanation on why they coould’ve been trained in Venezuela would’ve been sufficient.

    That would have been the end of without the need to call people names for expressing their opinion.

    Before I get called names I do agree with the post, but I want my opinion to be respected if I happen to disagree with information from any other post.

    • Kepler Says:

      He is accusing us of not seeing THE point and then “that’s why Venezuela is as it is and Chávez blabla”. In fact he is the one who doesn’t see the point, it is not about those cadetes being in Belarus learning how to dance merengue or in Venezuela.

      It is, basically: what a waste, so much money.

      Perhaps he has some “military background”. Who cares?
      The military have been the worst scourge for Venezuela well before Chávez came to power.

      Military in South America? For how long are we going to be so silly? This is good for the military caste, this is good for some corrupt getting commissions, this is good for Lockheed Martin and for its counter-part in Russia.

      This item is just one more of a serious of wasteful items. What it is NOT is scientists or nurses or farmers learning to be better, doing something for Venezuela’s development.

      • Mike Says:

        As usual, somebody (Fred) has a different opinion from the infallible Kepler and he starts calling him names.

        Btw, who is “us”, as in, I quote: “He is accusing us of not seeing THE point…”?

  3. Kepler Says:

    That fool hasn’t got it yet. I said it first time I KNOW those cadetes are in Belarus. What they are studying? Can we be sure they are all studying to use those machines? No, we can’t and even if they did: so what? The issue is it’s a complete waste of money and it is incredibly expensive.

    And if you are not rojo-rojito but are different from us, then not worry: Chávez will fall thanks to people like you who are not rojo-rojito and not like us. Or are you rojo-rojito, after all?

  4. moctavio Says:

    Luis I have a Ph.D. in Physics, give me 10 million dollars and I will create a Ph.D. program using existing facilities inn Venezuela for 40 students, train them over five years and leave some new Professors and equipment in Venezuela.

  5. Luis Peña Says:

    And i say it again. GEEEEE
    People where in my participation so far i defended the military expenditure? Where did i applauded the use of this military technology or the improbable use against the “necessary evil” that this government constantly says it is coming?
    I just stated why those people are supposed to be in Belarus, that is a fact that they are in Belarus. Corruption is a very different topic whose presence very well MO suggests and i AGREED to that. You just started treating me like if i was a rojorojito defending the government and thats why i complaint.
    Don´t worry that i will not be a sycophant o a troll defending the impossible. I just said that you are going ballistics (pun intended) to the minimal opinion appearing to be different of yours. If everybody in the opposition behaves like that do not complain that you don´t get votes. It is the same behavior of those supporting this government, one of taboos, rituals and dogmas. A religion. Good luck in that road. You showed to me you are no different of those you criticized.
    I will continue reading MO opinions but certainly will not consider the rest of you worthy of that honor. I won´t be participating here anymore(at least in this topic)

  6. island canuck Says:


    Well I guess the end will be soon if this is the same lie he used about the Venezuelan economy.

    Chávez dice que se está blindando contra el cáncer

  7. Kepler Says:

    If you want to nag so much, why don’t you do the job yourself? Put up a blog and inform about “the truth”? Then go somewhere else about “getting rid of Chávez”.

    Ballistic was the wrong word. I meant artillery (same semantic field, different angle, they just need to shoot, to use the gadgets, they don’t need the brains to calculate much).

    If you care to read the pensum of that academy, you will see the studies offered: to manage tanks, to manage artillery and so on.
    So: what’s the difference? It is all a bloody waste. Against whom are we going to use those weapons? Against the gringos? Don’t make me laugh.
    Against Colombians? Yeah, sure. Besides: the price is just ridiculous, half a million dollars for each bloody cadete/future people’s killer.

    Venezuela is a fucking underdeveloped nation with a lot of misery and we are buying weapons of no use as if there life depended on that.

    Apart from those studies there are things like

    “идеологическая работа (Вооруженные Силы) Специалист по идеологической работе 4 года”
    Ideological work (armed forces) specialist in ideological work, 4 years
    plus some others on intelligence.

    They are not taking them? they are just limiting themselves to the tanks and the defence systems and the planes? My foot. I have the originals from the KGB of how PCV members were trained in the eighties, when they were illegal, I translated the material. They did that back then and they will do that now, they just won’t mention to everybody. Hell, Venezuelans were doing that with the USA before.

    I still don’t like it even if those cadetes are exclusively learning to be “teachers to use the T-72, the BMP-3s and BTR-80s, the Смерч system and all the other crap. It’s the money I want to see employed in our schools and hospitals.

    If these guys were real men and not bloody brainless milicos, they would know what a waste they are.

    • Kepler Says:

      I meant a quarter of a million dollars per brainless head.

    • megaescualidus Says:

      “Against whom are we going to use those weapons?”

      Against Venezuelans, if at all. Isn’t that what dictatorships always do? Use weapons purchased with the country’s treasure against their own people?

      By-the-way, it really cracks me up when governments are referred to with the euphemism “authoritarian”. They should be called what they are: dictatorships. And, by the same token, Fidel is no president. He’s a dictator.

  8. Luis Peña Says:

    Geee, people, talking about ballistics. Some people here is jumping pretty fast into conclusions.
    Neither i,m dreaming of military utopias nor i´m justifing the expenses.
    MO asked why weren´t these people receiving training in the Venezuelan academy. I just stated the reasons made public of the presence of those cadets in Belarus.
    A group of people went to Chita in Russia to be trained in the use of the T-72 tanks. They already returned and are responsible of training the troops here. It was logical to assume the same with the cadets.
    With that kind of response you simple degrade this good blog to the level of Noticierodigital. Apparently you don´t think, you just react. In that way you will never get rid of Ch and certainly don´t give me hope to see a better people take the place of the “rojitos”

  9. Kepler Says:

    I wrote in my Spanish blog about these cadetes months ago as they appear in the Belorussian press and I also have some other contacts there (I have the tag Bielorrusia for Venezuela-Bielorrusia stuff). Hugo went to visit them in Minsk.

    Here a link to the academy’s page on possible studies (in Russian, use Google tools for a very rough translation):

    Some of those 4-5-year studies are about ballistics, tank use, aviation, radio technology, but 2, 3 and 4 are about intelligence. Remember, the Soviets gave courses on sabotage and complot building (yeah, that’s right) to members of the Venezuelan PCV up to the eighties…and old commies don’t forget. Next time people protests on the streets, they should remember that.

    Now: I have the suspicion that money is for just one year and that is ridiculously a lot.

  10. CharlesC Says:

    “In fact they would be the future trainers of the officers handling the systems here”- So, a “wise investment”-and this Project taking many years to implement is paid in full in one year- or is this going to be each year cost?
    In the meantime- who is “manning” these “air systems” -Cubans, you say?
    Russian advisors are in Venezuela supervising? Probably paying how much
    for that? Mr. Pena – you paint the picture of a bunch of professionals -you imagine a highly organized, educated military- that includes Chavez -you thnk so? Well, the Venezuelan military is not NOT on that level.
    You -Mr.Pena are dreaming of some “military utopia”…

  11. Luis Peña Says:

    Some military background to give perspective to the article.
    Those 40 people went to Belarus to receive training in air defense. More specifically the “new” air defense that Venezuela is trying to put together using missiles systems i.e. S-300, Pechora and Buk.
    They would not be able to receive that training in the Venezuelan Military Academy. In fact they would be the future trainers of the officers handling the systems here.
    That justifies they presence there. Now talking about the money. I prefer to follow MO and think it is a bit too expensive

    • megaescualidus Says:

      So, Luis Pe~a,

      What am I supposed to think after reading the 1st two paragraphs of your comment, “now I understand…”? Give me a break!

      I really think the entry in the Fonden papers could have been anything. If could have been, for that matter, “a repair contract of 200 ‘perinolas’ belonging to who knows who”, or just about any other ghost program that never really existed. The entry could have been anything because of the impunity reigning in Venezuela, where the Government is never investigated for anything “fishy” (and fishy “guisos multimillonarios” there are plenty in this Government).

    • Roberto N Says:

      Sorry Peña, but those contracts, like the Sukhoi contracts and others have technology and repair transference clauses, none of which are seen anywhere in real life.

      So your statement makes little sense, given that the “cadets” were supposed to be trained in those systems here, and not there.

  12. moctavio Says:

    I can’t drop it, I could not pick it up!

  13. captainccs Says:

    Mejor una Pollera Colorá que una Arepera Socialista:

  14. JMA Says:


    First, thanks for the video. It brought back very fond memories about the magnificent Billo’s Caracas Boys. I remember dancing to the tune of their songs in a lot of parties at the Club Los Cortijos.

    Regarding the cadets, please just stop thinking about them. They are virtual cadets. They never went to Bielorussia. Those $ 10 million are now lining some bolivarian revolution “procer” pockets. You know, this is sad, but Pinochet is starting to look good to me.

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