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"A Civil-Military Alliance": The Venezuelan Armed Forces before and during the Chávez era (201)
In order to understand why the Venezuelan Armed Forces aligned with the Chavez government's anti-imperial, leftist political position, it is necessary to go back in history. Harnecker (2003) has argued that the Venezuelan military had seven distinct traits that distinguished it from its counterparts in neighboring countries, making it receptive to supporting Chávez. First, it was deeply influenced by the teaching of Simón Bolivar and his ideas about national and popular sovereignty. Second, the military generation beginning with Chávez was not trained in the US School of the Americas, but in the Venezuelan Military Academy. Third, they had to a very limited extent faced guerilla insurgency, and thereby an indoctrination of Cold War "anti-communist" ideology, as had happened in many other countries. Indeed, by the time the Chávez generation entered the academy in the 1970s, guerilla activity had by and large been rooted out. Fourth, the Venezuelan military was not controlled by an elite military cast, but was rather an inroad for potential social mobility. Fifth, a popular uprising--the so-called Caracazo--in 1989 politicized many of the junior officers, making them sympathetic to leftist-leaning, anti-elite politics. Sixth, the decade prior to the Caracazo, which was characterized by a steep growth in socio-economic inequalities, had already started to radicalize junior officers. And seven, Chávez bid for reshaping the armed forces once elected in 1998 gave them a new purpose and a venue for channeling accumulated frustration throughout the preceding decades (Harnecker 2003, 15-18).


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:02:55 AM EST

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