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Venezuela Economic Review: Armed Revolutionary Reserve

Editorial | VER On Line

30.03.05 | According to the National Economics Council, an economic growth strategy based essentially on domestic public spending (financed with additional oil revenues) may end up being ephemeral. Nevertheless, this does not deter the Government from increasing its public spending, which now includes increasing the military reserve unit from 10,000 soldiers to 150,000, purchasing 100,000 Russian Kalashnikov rifles, buying military helicopters and the creation of yet another new ministry –Integration and Foreign Trade Ministry. ....

The Government’s expansion has increased public spending, which stood at 20.4% of GDP for 1998 and increased to 30.8% of GDP in 2004. To cover the increased spending, the revolutionary Government will need funds stemming from BCV’s exchange profits, devaluation, Bank Debit Tax and foreign and national debt issues. The Government spent Bs 60,500 BB in 2004, of which Bs 23,600 BB stemmed from the oil industry, Bs 20,300 BB from Seniat collections and Bs 17,500 BB from extraordinary sources (i.e. BDTax, BCV, NPD bond issues). VER On Line wonders will be these funds enough to cover such an enormous public spending? According to the National Economics Council, an economic growth strategy based essentially on domestic public spending (financed with additional oil revenues) may end up being ephemeral. Nevertheless, this does not deter the Government from increasing its public spending, which now includes increasing the military reserve unit from 10,000 soldiers to 150,000, purchasing 100,000 Russian Kalashnikov rifles, buying military helicopters and the creation of yet another new ministry –Integration and Foreign Trade Ministry. It is no secret that Hugo Chavez would do what ever was in his power to insure his permanence in power, thus it comes as no surprise that he would be interested in forming an armed reserve army of 150,000 men and women, commanded directly by Chavez, which is both unconstitutional and illegal, establishing a troop line of command outside the Defense Ministry, which would not be politically controlled by the National Assembly. Article 242 of the Constitution states that the Venezuelan Armed Force (VAF) will be commanded by the President of Venezuela via the Ministry of Defense, thus it will be extremely serious if this revolutionary reserve was greater than the entire VAF. According to Hugo Chavez, the armed reserve has been conformed to defend Venezuela from a possible USA armed attack, but in reality they are creating a revolutionary militia trained more in asymmetrical and irregular warfare in order to guarantee Hugo Chavez maintenance in power than to actually defend the nation. The Marxist concept of State insist on the creation of a revolutionary army that will impose and defend the hegemony of the dominant class, just as it occurred in Russia (Bolsheviks), China (Red Army), Cuba (Fidel Castro’s army) and Chile (during Allende’s reign). According to General Melvin López Hidalgo, “this strategic reserve will not depend on the VAF, will not operate within it, will belong to the country, spread throughout the nation and will train and act in the same areas where they live and work, in oil wells, at the CVG, in the petrochemical industry, to defend or destroy this industries in case of an invasion”. It seems difficult to believe the USA would be interested in attacking Venezuela as they did Iraq or Afghanistan, which leads one to believe that this armed militia was designed to defend the regime from its true enemies, those opposing the revolutionary process. This army will be loyal to Chavez, trained to violently repel any large street demonstrations or a possible rebellion by the few institutional units that still exist within the VAF; in other words, the bolivarian regime would be preparing itself for a possible civil war. Its prime objective would be to act rapidly against any kind of citizens’ protest, defend public installations (e.g. oil industry), and destroy them before they can be occupied by the enemies of the revolution, thus perpetuating Hugo Chavez’s power way beyond the year 2021. If the current regime were to be overthrown, this militia would be prepared to initiate guerrilla warfare actions and become the counter-resistance movement to whomever takes over the presidency of the Republic. And so rapidly advances the Cubanization of Venezuela, despite the fact that the majority of the population does not share this outdated revolutionary ideal.



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