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Bolivarian Armed Forces reserve peasant militias make presence felt in Caracas … here to stay

By Patrick J. O’Donoghue | VHeadline | February 22, 2010

President Chavez said on Sunday that the peasant militia is part of the Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB) and therefore, a legitimate force, which will neither undermine the FANB or supplant it.

“The peasant militia incarnates today a transcendent principle: the defense of land and against an eventual aggressor.”

The militias, he hinted, will act as a deterrent for domestic aggressors, who have been acting with complete impunity.

Last week, peasant militias took part in military training exercises in El Pao (Cojedes) watched by Agriculture & Lands (MAT) Minister Elias Jaua, who himself dressed in military fatigues. It is not clear whether he has a rank in the militia or indeed took part in the exercises himself but Jaua has been at the fore in setting up militias within the different branches of the Venezuelan Agriculture Corporation (CVA).

To tell the truth, the fact that militias have joined regular army patrols on recovered farms has been a deterrent to possible acts of sabotage and vengeance on the part of the ousted landowners.

The Minister stated that the government has the political will to to see the Constitution and the FANB law implemented to the full.

Defense Minister General Mara Figuera calculates around 2,500 militia members in the FANB reserve force.

The exercises in El Pao, Chavez wrote in his Line Drives column, are just the “first sample of the development of a popular armed force to safeguard our integrity and sovereignty in the Venezuelan countryside.”

The President reminded readers that since the law came into force in 200, the landed oligarchy adopted a violent agenda against land recoveries that saw the death and assassination of around 300 peasant leaders.

The government is determined to protect peasants by all means at its disposal. The militia, Chavez reiterated, is part and parcel of the Armed Force and not a paramilitary force as opposition analysts try to claim comparing them to the Colombian experience.

Making things clearer, the President said the Bolivarian militia and the communal councils are expressions of the new Communal State and structures being built.

The militia was reorganized after the Armed Force reform bill was passed on October 22, 2009.

Patrick J. O’Donoghue

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Aletho News, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on Bolivarian Armed Forces reserve peasant militias make presence felt in Caracas … here to stay