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Full discretion over Venezuela's army given to Chavez

From | VenEconomy

07.10.05 | The Basic National Armed Force Law (LOFAN) came into force on Monday, September 26, when it was published in Gaceta Oficial No. 38,280. With this new piece of legislation, the President’s command and control over the National Armed Force (FAN) have been made ironclad and two new militia groups, the Territorial Guard and the Civic-Military Reserve, have been put under his direct orders to be deployed at his entire discretion.

The key missions that the new law assigns to the Bolivarian FAN are: to protect the President, his family, and his closest collaborators at all times; to maintain internal order against external threats against the President; and, lastly, to defend Venezuela against external threats. This law, besides being a faithful copy of the one that governs Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces, reflects the new Bolivarian national security doctrine adopted in 2005. This doctrine establishes that the United States is Venezuela’s biggest enemy and views national defense as a guerrilla war waged by the people against an invader with superior military power. Hence the importance of the new law stipulating that the State’s military and paramilitary forces be organized defensively so as to confront an invasion by a stronger foreign enemy.

However, the main mission that the new law assigns to the Bolivarian FAN is the defense of the stability of Chávez’ regime against internal threats and disturbances. In practice, the FAN, the Military Reserve, and the Territorial Guard will serve, first and foremost, as attack forces to impose the process that the President has been forging for Venezuela, where the concepts of democracy, freedom, and private property have no place. One example of this is the confiscatory raids on companies and land that are taking place in Venezuela, where armed members of the military forces have been deployed to support the invaders and enforce the orders given by government officials.

In short, the LOFAN is yet another example of President Hugo Chávez’ determination to set up a Cuban-style communist dictatorship in Venezuela.

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