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News > Venezuela

The Unity Between the People and the Army Protects Venezuela

  • Bolivarian Militia in a training exercise, 2020.

    Bolivarian Militia in a training exercise, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @AnotherChango_c

Published 24 June 2021

Created by Hugo Chavez in 2008, the Bolivarian Militia is based on brigades and special resistance corps, which include workers, farmers, and students. 

After overwhelmingly winning the 1998 elections, Commander Hugo Chavez became president in 1999 and inaugurated the Bolivarian Revolution, a process of profound economic, political, and social transformation which changed the traditional relationship between the military and the civilian population.


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Based on his experience as a military man and his socialist values, Chavez consolidated the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela (FANB) as an institution that promotes integration between the people and the soldiers. This civil-military unit guarantees the defense of the country's sovereignty and peace against the continuous aggressions of the United States and its allies.

"The security of the Nation is based on the co-responsibility between the State and the civil society to comply with the principles of independence, democracy, equality... The principle of co-responsibility is exercised in the economic, social, political, cultural, geographic, environmental and military fields," the Venezuelan Constitution establishes.

An operational expression of civil-military unity emerged in 2008 when Chavez created the Bolivarian Militia. This institution operates nationally based on reservist brigades and special resistance corps, which include workers, farmers, and students. Currently, these popular forces can exceed one million men and women with military training of varying degrees.

From the very beginning, the civil-military union has guaranteed the continuity of the Bolivarian transformation project. In April 2002, for example, the United States and the big Venezuelan businessmen tried to execute a coup d'état.

On that occasion, the unity between the civilian population and the army demonstrated its strategic importance when thousands of citizens took to the streets to defend Chavez's presidency.

That year, businessmen also organized a strike that severely damaged the national economy. Once again, however, civilians and the military acted in unity to defend the integrity of the country's oil infrastructure.

Almost two decades later, in May 2020, the Empire and its Latin American allies attempted to execute a coup d'état using an armed incursion off the coast of La Guaira state. On this occasion, the mercenaries departed from Colombia to destabilize Venezuela and attack President Nicolas Maduro.

However, the aggression was contained by farmers and fishermen who immediately alerted on the entry of the far-right terrorists. Thanks to the prompt action of the militiamen, the FANB managed to capture 13 soldiers of fortune.

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