May 11, 2006: Despite Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez' defense spending spree, fueled by soaring oil prices, the Venezuelan Armed Force appear to be deteriorating at a rapid rate. The key problems for the Armed Forces are that Chavez' money is not going to the regular forces. Most of the money is being spent to train and equip his "Bolivarian Militia," which is expected to eventually number some two million personnel for irregular operations and regime protection. A secondary problem is that Chavez is insisting that the regular armed forces adopt "Bolivarian" principles of strategy and tactics, though these are pretty hazily defined and have never actually been subject to field tests.
Reportedly fewer than half the ships in the Navy are able to get underway, and none are combat ready by any measure. When asked by Brazil to take part in a combined exercise this coming September, the Venezuelan Navy replied that it would be unable to do so due to equipment and maintenance shortfalls, and a lack of fuel.
While Air Force readiness appears to be better (Chavez is an Air Force man), its ability to conduct more than token operations is debatable. Even the Coast Guard is feeling the pinch, and has had to lay up some vessels and close some bases, which is having a deleterious effect on anti-drug and anti-smuggling operations.
On the ground, the best troops are a handful of battalions of "special operations" personnel and some of the marine battalions. The bulk of the Army and Marines may retain some flexibility, and would probably be able to conduct defensive operations against convention forces or support guerrilla operations. The new Bolivarian Militia is likely to be useless.
Meanwhile, in a surprisingly public admission of a problem, the Inspector General of the Armed Forces, Major General. Guillermo Rangel, issued a report that claimed about $8 million was disappearing each month through graft, with senior officers taking the pay for "phantom soldiers," bogus procurement contracts, and the like. Rangel's report actually named Army Commander in Chief Raúl Baduel as one of the culprits, alleging that Baduel himself is raking off some $3 million a month himself. Both Rangel and Baduel are staunch Chevez supporters, and Rangel's report may be a political move Rangel is rumored to want the post of Army chief-of-staff.
Chavez appears to have some serious attention span issues. When faced with an issue that demands a hard decision, and quickly, Chavez tends to charge off to deal with another, often unrelated, matter. For example, instead of taking care of serious problems with military readiness, Chavez has been meddling in Peru's presidential elections. The first round, in January, resulted in the need for a run-off between leftist Ollanta Humala and the more conservative Alan García scheduled for early June. Already condemned by many political and cultural figures in Peru for his open backing of Humala during the January balloting, Chavez recently upped his rhetoric, even threatening to break diplomatic relations with Peru should García win. As a result, many prominent leftist Peruvians have been telling him to mind his own business, and Humala has publicly distanced himself from any association with Chavez.
This guy seems more and more like a little hitler, with his wanting to do away with elections and replacing the military with his own personal army.
I pretend I'm cooler than AzH
3rd September 2005
^no hes creating a militia for country defense. south america is a pretty modern continent i dount think anyone is gonna invade venazuela any time soon. why does venazuela need military readiness?
I believe one of Hitlers Homeboys said it best when he spake: "Tell the people there is some kind of outside enemy they must fight against...etc"
He uses the US as a boogeyman to get his people to flock around him, then rapidly builds up the military to use those people as a defense against dissent. Thats like dictator 101 right there. Is there a school teaching this stuff or something?:rolleyes:
after what Pat Robertson said about assasinating Chavez ,Chavez started readying his forces.
czech speacial forces^no hes creating a militia for country defense. south america is a pretty modern continent i dount think anyone is gonna invade venazuela any time soon. why does venazuela need military readiness?
He believes the US might want to invade him soon. Now he's thinking that because the US already tried (unsuccessfully) to remove him with a coup, and because he knows the US has stubbornly tried to control south america during the past two centuries (this worked for a time, look at Colombia, Chile and other places who had pro-US CIA installed dictators or governement). Now since Venezuela is the main exporter of oil to america, he fears he might be attacked by the US, since he nationalized parts of the oil industry and promotes a fiercely independant policy for both Venezuela AND the rest of Latin America (this seems to work, with a large number of South American countries now following his example and electing socialist leaders). To make things worse, he's a good friend of Castro.
south america is a pretty modern continent
Thats an uninformed statement, South America reeks with poverty.
Other than Cuba, and Bolivia, Venezuala is alone in the Socialist department. Cuba cant offer real support to anyone and Bolivias leader has to contend with his border with Brazil. Chavez' popularity through most of the region isnt that high with other leftist leaders distancing themselves from him and his policies. just look at whats going down in Argentina.
Other than Cuba, and Bolivia, Venezuala is alone in the Socialist department.
What about Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina? All are led by socialist or leftist parties.
Cuba cant offer real support to anyone and Bolivias leader has to contend with his border with Brazil.
Cuba loans thousands of doctors and teachers to Venezuela in exchange for oil. If you are talking about military help, well of course they can't help each other much, but I doubt they want war (only independance and national sovereignty at last).
I'm not sure that Chavez really believes that the US government is out to kill him. Far more important is the construction of this hyped-up conflict between Venezuela and the forces of the capitalist imperialist pigdogs which Chavez uses as political cover for the formation of his own personal death squads.
This militia of his has pretty much nothing to do with defending the country from outside threats and everything to do with helping Chavez safeguard his revolution... If the lessons of socialist states such as those in post-independence Africa are anything to go by, it can only be a matter of time before Chavez seeks to use his militia to suppress what is left of Venezuela's political opposition. One of the key features of a successful liberal democracy is that the military remains subordinate to the state, not to a single person or party.
didnt say they were the only socialist. i said the three of them were alone. Bolivias Economy is about to take a noise dive thanks to chasing away any future foreign investment in that area by nationalising the oil industry (which will of course be as poorly run and corrupt as the rest of Bolivias governt. reference the P-Mex disaster)
Brazil is the owner and user of some 45% of Bolivias oil resources, you think they are going to be pleased with a jank in their energy needs because of Evo's ego trip? On the other side you have Chile whom Bolivia has been non-gratiated with since the Pacific War.
Other leftist leaders in SA countries have actually gone out of their way to distance themselves in any way from Chavez as he is terribly unpopular everywhere but his own countries poor.
Both Bolivia and Venzuala seem hellbent on following possibly the worse economic model in all of western hemsiphere. heres whats going to happen: 1) Honeymoon period of Euphoria at sticking it to the Yankee. 2) Foreign ownership and contract rights dissolved. 3) The percentage of profit from a foreign corp that Bolivia/Venez. requires makes it unprofitable to continue operations. 4) Foreign investors flee 5) Bolivia/Venez. economy tanks 6) Citizens suffer 7) Bolivia/Venez blames the Gringo/Yankee for their woes 8) Military coup
Right now we are at about number 2 and close to hiting number 3
Chavez basically wants to be a dictator, and this "militia" like the SA and SS is meant to protect him and his regime. A while back he was talking about setting up a vote for him to stay in power for the next 25 years, once that happens by the time 25 years comes around everyone will be like "hmm? what elections?" The next step will be to eliminate political opposition, and then the country will go the way of Cuba, unless something is done to stop this mad-man.