"A gun for every militiaman!': Venezuela's president wants to beef up armed civilian groups"
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced plans Monday to expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias as tensions in the crisis-wracked South American nation continued to rise.
Maduro said he hopes to expand the number of civilians involved in the Bolivarian militias created by the late Hugo Chavez to 500,000, up from the current 100,000, and provide each member with a gun.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace to mark the force’s seventh anniversary, Maduro said it is time for Venezuelans to decide if they are “with the homeland” or against it.
“Now is not the time to hesitate,” he said.
The announcement comes as Maduro’s opponents are gearing up for what they pledge will be the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands Wednesday. Supporters of the president have called for a counter demonstration the same day.
Maduro’s plans come after his Sunday-night order for the military to take the streets in advance of those Wednesday protests.
“From the first reveille (on Monday morning), from the first rooster crow, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces will be in the streets… saying, ‘Long live the Bolivarian revolution,’” Maduro said Sunday night in a televised address.
Thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets since the Supreme Court stripped the National Assembly of its last vestiges of power nearly three weeks ago, a decision it later partly reversed. At least five people have been killed, dozens hurt and more than 100 detained in the demonstrations.
The Maduro government has vowed to hold a counter mass gathering Wednesday in defense of the socialist movement started by Chavez.
Chavez created the civilian militias with the goal of training 1 million Venezuelans to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks. Maduro told the militia Monday that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face “imperialist aggression.”
“A gun for every militiaman!” he cried.
Maduro’s government claims foreign-backed opposition leaders are fomenting violence in an attempt to remove him from power. The Venezuelan president has denouncedopponents as “traitors” and said the new deployment was a sign of the military’s “honor, unity and revolutionary commitment.”
The opposition denies that assertion, saying it is Maduro himself who is responsible for Venezuela’s woes, including triple-digit inflation, rising crime and food shortages.
They also blame Maduro for ordering security forces to use tear gas against protesters and failing to stop pro-government armed groups from attacking demonstrators.
Former congresswoman Maria Corina Machado posted a photo of the militia gathering Monday on her Twitter account, calling it a, “pathetic, desperate and unconstitutional attempt by the regimen to intimidate Venezuelans.”
Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino vowed the army would display its “fighting spirit ahead of April 19” but said the deployment was “a call to peace.”
Fuck that people that supports the “bolivarian revolution” in their safe, comfy capitalist country, people that don’t have to do a queue of 4 hours since 5-6 am to buy food because there’s scarcity, people that don’t have to be afraid of being robbed, murdered or kidnapped just because of their phones or jewelry or if the criminals feels like it. Fuck it because we live in fear while people in front of the Venezuelan embassy in NY are supporting “the bolivarian revolution fuck usa viva chavez”. Fuck it all.
A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.
Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.
Venezuela’s president stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the plan, which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas, as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others, was carried out.
Maduro explained that a video of masked military officials speaking out against the government had been recorded, which was set to be released after the planned assassination was carried out.
Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez stated via his Twitter account that the armed forces remain loyal to the constitutional government.
Ciudad Caribia, a new socialist model city being constructed in Venezuela. It was conceived as a new type of self-sustaining, ecological population center that encourages walking rather than driving, environmentalism rather than waste, and communal values rather than individualism. The plan includes many communal buildings and parks, broad walkways and few vehicular roads, and will be largely run by the locally-elected communal councils rather than by a traditional governmental system.
The city was inaugurated a few days ago with 602 families, most former residents of Federico Quiroz and Nueva Tacagua who were displaced during the mudslides late last year, moving into their new apartments. They officially signed the papers transferring the use-ownership of the land to the new residents during a televised celebration. Ownership gives residents the right of use to their apartment and to the city, but does not give them the right to sell or rent it, or in the case of the city to sell its land or buildings. Hugo Chavez has set the goal of 20,000 units being finished in the city by the end of 2018, accommodating up to 100,000 people, and another 800 apartments will be ready for occupation by the end of this year. Construction is underway also for local industrial centers to employ the population.
Apartments are three bedroom, two bath and are really nice. The cost is subsidized by the state depending on family income: families who earn below minimum wage have the cost subsidized 100%; those that earn minimum wage, 80%; those that earn double, 54%; and even those that earn three times the minimum wage will still receive a 28% subsidy for apartments already priced far below market value.
Thousands of people have taken to social media in solidarity with Venezuela in the face of new U.S. threats.
The hashtag #ObamaYankeeGoHome is among the top trending topics Tuesday following U.S. President Barack Obama calling Venezuela a “threat to national security” and announcing new sanctions against Venezuelan government officials on Monday.
According to Twitter Topsy, in just 24 hours, over 80,000 tweets with the hashtag have been written.
The phrase, Yankee Go Home in Latin America is a rejection of U.S. interference in countries’ affairs, or outright invasions. The U.S. was involved in the 1973 Chilean coup, in supporting the Nicaraguan contras to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista revolution, in the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, numerous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro and in the Bay of Pigs invasion, supporting the 2009 coup in Honduras, ousting the national government in Panama in 1989, invading Granada, overthrowing the Guatemalan government in 1954, and much more.
Renowned Venezuelan singer Ali Primera also wrote a song called Worker Latin America, where he would sing, “The U.S. fears the revolution, the U.S. fears the chant, ‘Yankee go home’ … the workers of Latin America say,’Yankee go home.’”
Using a combination of printed images, wheatpaste, and paints, Venezuela’s Communicational Guerrilla modernized and urbanized the image of Simon Bolivar, “Father of American Rebellion” as they describe him.
The Venezuelan government has seized nearly 4m toys from a private company and says it will hand them out as Christmas gifts for poor children.
The country’s fair pricing authority seized the toys on Friday from three warehouses run by Kreisel, Venezuela’s largest toy distributor. Two company executives were detained on suspicion of promoting price speculation.
Agency director William Contreras alleged that Kreisel under-reported its inventory in order to sell some toys at higher prices.
Contreras said the seizure would teach companies “that you can’t play with the rights of Venezuelans”.
There’s a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn’t know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media’s misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raul Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region.