The military’s higher ranks are filled with loyalists to the socialist government. An additional guarantee for the socialist government is the counterweight to the military provided by the Colectivos, pro-Government armed militias. “Despite the Venezuelan government’s statements saying that only official authorities can carry weapons for the defense of Venezuela, colectivos are armed with automatic rifles such as AK-47s, submachine guns, fragmentation grenades, and teargas.” Source
Now that anti-government protests in Venezuela have been crushed and President Nicolás Maduro has consolidated his power through dubious electoral maneuvers and a crackdown on democratic freedoms, some opposition leaders and international pundits have raised the possibility of a coup d’etat as the only realistic way to bring about regime change.
Julio Borges, head of the opposition-controlled congress, has called on the military to “break its silence”, adding that “the immense majority of officers are against the chaos that is taking hold in Venezuela”.
Writing in the Washington Post, law professor Ozan Varol declared: “The Venezuelan military is the levee that’s keeping the democratic movement at bay to protect the Maduro regime. Only if the military breaks can the river of democracy jump the banks.”
From CIW NEWS Contributor
Venezuela (VE) is estimated to have a population of 31.0 million with a growth rate during 2010-2015 of 1.4% pa.
At the same rate of change, in five years' time its population will increase by 2.2 million.