Taking a page out of his “revolutionary brother” Qaddafi’s playbook, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has accelerated the creation of a militia that would fire on protesters. He and his generals have already acknowledged that they would not accept electoral defeat in the upcoming 2012 elections, and Chávez has long dreamt of a civic-military alliance, even since before his election to the presidency.
And now he’s getting it, in the most revolting way possible: by conscripting Venezuela’s children.
A new law now forces all schools across the nation, public and private, to train children in the use of weaponry and military tactics. In a country that is already the most violent in the hemisphere and has almost four times the murder rate of Iraq, they are giving live ammunitions and Kalashnikovs to 12 year-olds, indoctrinating them in sectarian hatred and encouraging them to fight in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution and the integrity of the nation, in case of invasion -- presumably by the US.
But this is a typical tactic of Chávez (well, of most presidents everywhere): when things are bad at home, look for an enemy overseas to rally the troops behind you.
But Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of the Pentagon’s SOUTHCOM, has asserted that the US has no intention of invading Venezuela, but it is concerned that all this weaponry may well end up in other hands -- specifically terrorist organizations like the FARC and ELN and Hezbollah, of which there are now many in Venezuela.
In short, Chávez won’t take no for an answer and he doesn’t care if his people slaughter each other, just as long as he can stay in power.
Is this what Venezuelans elected him for? Hardly.