[News] Mass Civic-Military Mobilizations in Venezuela Warn Against Intervention
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 24 17:53:26 EDT 2016
Mass Civic-Military Mobilisations in Venezuela Warn Against Intervention
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
Caracas, May 23rd 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/>) - More than half a million soldiers and
civilian militia members took to the streets of Venezuela over the
weekend to defend their national sovereignty amidst rumours of
international intervention and an unconventional coup.
Entitled Full Independence II 2016, the drills saw troops, military
boats and planes deployed to seven coastal states in Venezuela on Friday
and Saturday after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on the
military to rally around the defence of the country’s Constitution in
the face of foreign aggression.
The head of state said that “the decision to combat and defend this land
at the cost of our own lives” should send a “very clear message to the
empires of the world”.
“The people of Venezuela is the only owner of this land, never again
will it be somebody’s slave or colony,” he added.
During the exercises, Venezuelan Defence Minister, Padrino Lopez, also
called on Venezuelans to sign up to the militia set up by former
President Hugo Chavez in 2007 as a civilian-led armed body parallel to
According to comments made by General César Vega, there are currently
340,000 militia members operating throughout the country.
Last weekend’s military exercises take place amidst a tense atmosphere
in Venezuela, where the political opposition, the Democratic Unity
Roundtable (MUD) has vowed to remove Maduro before 2017 through a
constitutional recall referendum. The manoeuvre would mean cutting the
president’s term short by over two years.
Despite MUD plans for a recall, however, earlier this month former
Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, infamous Venezuelan blogger Francisco
del Toro, and former presidential candidate and MUD leader, Henrique
Capriles Radonski, all came out in support of a coup against the Maduro
The comments have led to heavy speculation both inside Venezuela and
abroad that forces in opposition to the government could seek an
unconstitutional route to oust Maduro before the year is up.
Russian Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Sergéi Ryabkov and even the
Pope recently waded into the debate last week, warning against “soft” or
constitutional coups in Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil and foreign
“We see a new intensification in the foreign policy of the United States
in that area, even direct attempts to interfere in the domestic affairs
of states in the region… Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela are just the most
recent examples,” said Ryabkov from Moscow.
Meanwhile leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales also sent his support
to the embattled Venezuelan head of state over the weekend, after
arriving in Caracas from Havana.
Published on May 24th 2016 at 8.13am
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