Maduro has surrounded himself with veterans in his government International

The number of active players in Nicolás Maduro’s government is growing. The NGO Ciudadano published a study showing that with the appointment of Colonel Pedro Dellaccia as the new oil minister, 42% of executives already have a military presence, one of the highest averages in Latin America.

At this time, the departments of government supervision and management, trade, domestic relations, defence, agriculture, food, mine development, water, prison services, housing, transport, public works, electricity and now oil are headed by generals or colonels. Of the armed forces, 10 are retired and four are active. Six come from the Army, three from the Navy and two from the Air Force. Military discipline and military salute are imposed in the government.

“As of 2017, the position of the military before the ministries in the Nicolás Maduro government peaked,” the study establishes Ciudadano control. In addition, a significant proportion of subsidiary ministries, autonomous agencies and state offices are headed by military personnel.

Rocio San Miguel, Director of Social Monitoring, said, “A military elite with great political power is being consolidated, which has never put its boots on the operational levels of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, and is deepening the gap between those troops. Those at the top and in action are in need of supporting their families.

It has been a practice for radical military officers to enter government since 1999, beginning with Hugo Chávez, who often preferred to wear his campaign uniform and in some cases his beret, much to the chagrin of his opponents and critics.

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Vice President Delsey Rodriguez and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino in a caravan commemorating the tenth anniversary of Hugo Chavez.Leonardo Fernandez Viloria (Reuters)

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Chávez’s behavior broke with a tradition of civilian leaders of Venezuelan democracy between 1958 and 1998 being active players in politics.

To make possible the landing of active military members in the government, Hugo Chávez used the interpretation of Article 328 of the Bolivarian Constitution, which assigns to the military world the mission of “actively participating in national development.” This arrangement created great fear among the Venezuelan opposition at the time. At the time, it was feared that politicization would disrupt the military institution’s interpretation of the mandate of the 1999 Constitution, which, in any democracy, should conduct itself in an apolitical and professional manner equal to electoral debates and partisan interests.

“The presence of active soldiers of the Chávez and Maduro governments is undoubtedly high, and with many peaks,” observes Ricardo Sucre, a political scientist familiar with the national military world, who makes an important caveat: “It is not. As happened in Argentina, Chile or Uruguay, in Venezuela Military government exists.Society is not militarized, military values ​​are not transmitted from power to society.

Nicolás Maduro, a civilian who occasionally wears an olive green uniform, has come a long way in shaping and imposing a revolutionary military ideology that Hugo Chávez left as a pending matter, for which he sought the advice of Cuba, which was divided. From the constitutional provisions. For this, General Vladimir Patrino Lopez, who has been the Minister of Defense for the past nine years, has been its attack.

The defining lever for the politicization of military activity in the state is the so-called Civic-Military Union, an organizational principle in Hugo Chávez’s first declarations, in addition to promoting armed formation to protect civilian forces. The training of the military in revolutionary, socialist and Bolivarian theory was destined to create vested interests in the administration of power and, in the long run, to prevent political change.

The Venezuelan military does not overtly declare politics or intervene in public debate, but Chavista and revolutionary slogans are a living presence in the palace, and Chávez’s memory is the object of a cult, like the fathers of the country.

“Current military commanders are twisting constitutional provisions that prohibit the armed forces from having partisan sympathies,” says Sucre. “What they usually argue is that they are a political example, because they are part of the state, Chavismo is not a political party, but a national movement, a guarantor of freedom and national sovereignty.”

Sucre thinks that the militarization of the Venezuelan government dictates — a trend that goes up and down, but is at a very high level — does not necessarily translate into a radicalization of political positions. “There could be a big reputational damage in the arms company. The army has not done anything good in the government, they are not even close to the Brazilian development army. There has been a lot of money loss and confusion. In the current opinion polls, the rejection of the army by the public and a negative view of their performance is more than 60% of those consulted. During the days of democracy in the 20th century, the Venezuelan military was highly respected and its approval ratings were very high in opinion polls.

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Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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