[News] Mass Civic-Military Mobilizations in Venezuela Warn Against Intervention

Anti-Imperialist News 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 
the army.

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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