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Chavez Prepares His People's Army To Confront US
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 3-4-2006 | Sophie Arie

Posted on 03/03/2006 6:41:04 PM PST by blam

Chavez prepares his people's army to confront US

By Sophie Arie in Caracas
(Filed: 04/03/2006)

Venezuela begins training a vast army of civilian reserves today to fight off the attack its Left-wing president, Hugo Chavez, says the United States is plotting against it.

The oil-rich state aims to teach up to two million volunteers, from the unemployed to office workers, shop assistants and housewives, basic military skills such as marching in step or shooting to kill.

Hugo Chavez warned Venezuelans to expect an attack from the US

If it reaches that size, the force will be the largest civilian reserve army in the Americas, double the size of Washington's reserves. Its creation will further inflame relations between Venezuela and the US, already characterised by insults and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats.

Mr Chavez, a former paratrooper, has warned repeatedly that the "imperialist enemy" will attempt to crush his socialist revolution in this enormous South American country, which supplies the US with 15 per cent of its oil.

At one military parade Mr Chavez, first elected in 1998, called on his countrymen to prepare for an "assymetric war" against the world's most powerful nation.

"If somebody meddles with Venezuela, they'll repent for 100 centuries," he said. "If we have to fight a war to defend this country, we'll make blood flow."

Many see the populist leader's warnings as just more of his rabble rousing, anti-American rhetoric. Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, has dismissed any idea of an attack on Venezuela as "ridiculous".

But what began as a war of words is escalating into a more serious confrontation.

For example, Mr Chavez has been buying military hardware, including Russian helicopters, 100,000 AK-47 rifles and Brazilian and Spanish equipment he says Venezuela needs to defend itself.

In response the US warned this week that Venezuela's creeping militarisation could destabilise Latin America, setting for the recent election of a string of Left-wing leaders. John Negroponte, the US national intelligence director, also sounded the alarm at Venezuela's forging of "economic, military and diplomatic ties with Iran and North Korea".

These are both members of what the Bush administration has denounced as "axis of evil" regimes suspected of sponsoring terrorism and with an unhealthy interest in weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Chavez claims Venezuela, along with Brazil and Cuba form an "axis of good", united against President George W Bush, the "world's only terrorist". He has even threatened to stop oil supplies to the US.

"I will sting those who rattle me, so don't mess with me, Condoleezza," he said recently, blowing a mock kiss to the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. Such strident defiance of the world superpower, seen by many as a bully which has economically raped and pillaged the region for decades, has made Mr Chavez hugely popular.

In the grimy, litter-strewn capital Caracas his face beams out from posters whipping up national pride and warning the gringos: "Watch out, Latin America is coming."

"The people stand firm with their Commander," one poster reads, with Mr Chavez, known by his supporters as El Commandante, giving a military salute.

"Chavez is the people" reads the slogan under another Che Guevara-like image. Willing "Chavistas" (supporters of the president) are queuing up to enlist in the new reserve force. Many believe their main mission will be more social than military, providing assistance to the poor and first aid in emergencies.

Many work for the state and some have met informally for months, marching without weapons around car parks and sports grounds, their group leaders calling themselves sergeants and colonels and wearing T-shirts saying "Combatant of the Revolution".

During their training over the next five months, they have been told they will be drilled to be "mentally and physically prepared" for all kinds of attack.

In return they will receive a monthly income of about 16,000 Bolivares (£4.30) and in some cases, social benefits including free clothes and shoes.

"Venezuela is changing, Latin America is changing and America does not like it," said Alfredo Carquez, who signed up as a reservist in January.

"We are not aggressive but we have to be ready to defend ourselves. If I have to, I'm ready to use a gun to defend the people."

Another recent recruit who combines his new role with a day job at a state-owned oil firm, said: "Until very recently, the military anywhere in Latin America was associated with oppression, dictatorship and murder.

"But now we are learning that military can be on the side of the people."

But many Venezuelans see Mr Chavez, not the US, as the real threat. They are increasingly afraid the civilian reserves will be used to intimidate and, if necessary, suppress the opposition as he campaigns to win six more years in power later this year.

A message written in the dusty window of a Caracas van sent a silent plea to the US not to invade but to rescue the Venezuelans from their maverick leader.

"We are counting on you, Condoleezza. Intervene, please."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: army; bolivariancircles; chavez; confront; his; hugochavez; hugoland; peoples; prepares; us; venezuela
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1 posted on 03/03/2006 6:41:07 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

I wonder what's going to happen when our invasion doesn't materialize.


2 posted on 03/03/2006 6:42:37 PM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: blam
"If somebody meddles with Venezuela, they'll repent for 100 centuries,"

Hugo, take seat next to the WW2 Japanese General who claimed,

"A Million men couldn't take Tarawa [Island] ina Thousand years."

3 posted on 03/03/2006 6:44:46 PM PST by ExcursionGuy84 ("Jesus, Your Love takes my breath away.")
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To: cripplecreek
I wonder what's going to happen when our invasion doesn't materialize.

He's sowing the seeds of his own demise.

The people will only take his crap for so long.

4 posted on 03/03/2006 6:46:09 PM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN (Toon Town, Iran...........where reality is the real fantasy.)
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To: blam

It's true what the Kinks said-"Paranoia will destroy you..."


5 posted on 03/03/2006 6:46:44 PM PST by WestVirginiaRebel (Islamofascists don't need cartoons. They're already caricatures.)
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To: blam
"If somebody meddles with Venezuela, they'll repent for 100 centuries," he said.

A geopolitical rule: the louder the smacktalk, the weaker the smacktalker.

6 posted on 03/03/2006 6:47:05 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: blam

NO Neck


7 posted on 03/03/2006 6:47:12 PM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN

If I were a neighboring nation I would be concerned. If we don't materialize as an enemy, he's going to be forced to find another.


8 posted on 03/03/2006 6:48:21 PM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: blam

one man one bullet , end of the story


9 posted on 03/03/2006 6:49:41 PM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: blam

He's using the US as a pretext to arm. His real purpose it to use his military to suppress his own people.


10 posted on 03/03/2006 6:49:46 PM PST by djpg
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To: blam

As Samuel R. Delany wrote, "There is an enemy beyond the barrier." There wasn't, and there isn't for Venezuela either, but phantom enemies help tyrants stay in power.


11 posted on 03/03/2006 6:50:05 PM PST by mike70
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To: blam

This guys got to be nuttier than Fidel and Saddam combined. Fidel stuck out his chest and defied us and was ignored because he wasn't a threat. Saddam stuck out his chest and we didn't ignore him because he was a threat.

If Chavez becomes a threat, I think we'll not ignore him.


12 posted on 03/03/2006 6:51:38 PM PST by jazusamo (:Gregory was riled while Hume smiled:)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
Until very recently, the military anywhere in Latin America was associated with oppression, dictatorship and murder.

Recently, like two hours ago?

14 posted on 03/03/2006 6:52:38 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: cripplecreek
Can you say reconquista?

It makes as much sense as the rest of his stated reasons.

With a little prompting, I'll bet old Fox or his replacement would be glad to assist Ugo with his delusions of grandeur.
15 posted on 03/03/2006 6:53:02 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: mike70

We've seen tyrants like this come and go for a Century, but they usually mange to take a few hundred thousand with them in the process...

As long as OIL is high, he's got the bucks to keep the economy going, but sooner or later, he'll step on his schlong, upset the wrong folks, and it will all come crashing down around them in a sea of blood.......


16 posted on 03/03/2006 6:53:29 PM PST by tcrlaf
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To: blam

2 million marchers and 100,000 AKs.

Must be new math.


17 posted on 03/03/2006 6:55:47 PM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: BunnySlippers
..

"Where's your f***ing neck?!"

18 posted on 03/03/2006 6:58:22 PM PST by itsamelman (“Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.” -- Al Swearengen)
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To: blam
During their training over the next five months, they have been told they will be drilled to be "mentally and physically prepared" for all kinds of attack.

I imagine the first "attack" they will identify will be "agents of imperialism" within their own population. Death squads and re-education camps to follow in short order.

19 posted on 03/03/2006 7:01:54 PM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: blam
An extremely exaggerated and paranoid sense of his own self-importance in his own little fruitcake mind.
20 posted on 03/03/2006 7:02:54 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130Y gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: blam

Unless he's planning to invade the US, he's wasting his effort.


21 posted on 03/03/2006 7:04:52 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: LeoWindhorse
A nice succinct, concise, affordable, cost effective solution.
22 posted on 03/03/2006 7:06:15 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130Y gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: siunevada

It is the New Math.

Zero Firing Pins.


23 posted on 03/03/2006 7:08:02 PM PST by usmcobra (I always sing Karaoke the way it is meant to be sung, drunk, badly, and in Japanese)
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To: WestVirginiaRebel

The Kinks were underated and underappreciated.


24 posted on 03/03/2006 7:09:11 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130Y gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: blam

I hope that means he is issuing white flags and making sure everyone has an updated will.


25 posted on 03/03/2006 7:10:20 PM PST by Doohickey (If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice...I will choose freewill.)
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To: blam
Venezuelans with any hard cash are already paying Mexican coyotes to illegally smuggle them into the USA.

The elite and monied class left town last year, or have their private jets on permanent standby.

Just as I would never deport, out of hand, a political refugee from Cuba, I would not deport a Venezuelan, and for similar reasons, if they declared themselves refugees upon entry into the USA.
The Mexican government's very lucrative and very illegal industry of human slave traders must be stopped!

Seal the borders!
The gates are still there for any who want to come in legally.
But ask yourself why those that come here didn't stand and fight for their own country, that used to be free.
And ask yourself if they would stand with you, or against you, in a fight for freedom here.
26 posted on 03/03/2006 7:10:34 PM PST by sarasmom (I don't care who John Galt is, I just need his email address.)
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To: cripplecreek
I wonder what's going to happen when our invasion doesn't materialize.

A Reich-stag fire, and all it's related developments. We are the "poltical" Jews of the world.

27 posted on 03/03/2006 7:10:42 PM PST by papertyger
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To: blam

"If somebody meddles with Venezuela, they'll repent for 100 centuries,"

Sounds kinda like the "Thousand Year Reich".


28 posted on 03/03/2006 7:10:54 PM PST by garyhope (Peace through superior firepower, A-10's, C-130Y gunships, rational thought and pragmatism.)
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To: papertyger

Most likely he'll turn his private army against his own people, at least those he'll call "Subversives."


29 posted on 03/03/2006 7:13:10 PM PST by WestVirginiaRebel (Islamofascists don't need cartoons. They're already caricatures.)
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To: cripplecreek

>But many Venezuelans see Mr Chavez, not the US, as the real threat. They are increasingly afraid the civilian reserves will be used to intimidate and, if necessary, suppress the opposition as he campaigns to win six more years in power later this year.<

I believe these astute Venezuelans can easily tell you what will happen with this army when the US does not invade.

Chavez needs a bogey man to whip up national pride. I guess Uncle Sam is his patsy.


30 posted on 03/03/2006 7:17:38 PM PST by Darnright (Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.)
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To: djpg
his act (anti us rhetoric, cheap oil to US states) has got to be wearing thin.
31 posted on 03/03/2006 7:18:31 PM PST by newnhdad (All your government branches are belong to us!! not for long if this cr@p keeps up.)
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To: blam

The war that nobody came too...

Chavez is nuts.


32 posted on 03/03/2006 7:38:11 PM PST by DB (©)
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To: cripplecreek

He's doing the same thing the Sandinistas did in Nicarauga, keep on beating the anti-American drumbeat, pushing up the threat, wasting money on the military... while the country goes to rack and ruin around him.

We don't need to worry about this idiot. Sooner or later his bullshi+ and idiocy are going to turn his own people against him, and they will kick him out.


33 posted on 03/03/2006 7:38:39 PM PST by Ronin
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To: blam
For Chavez, USA = Eastasia/Eurasia.

And his citizens are morons to believe him.
34 posted on 03/03/2006 7:38:42 PM PST by TeenagedConservative
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To: LeoWindhorse
"one man one bullet , end of the story"

Can we get VP Cheney to take him quail hunting?

35 posted on 03/03/2006 7:45:54 PM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway~~John Wayne)
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To: cripplecreek

Generally such idle boasts run impotent when faced with reality. The US, however, hasn't been very active in these areas and continues to dwindle in military power.

We are still a nation without walls. If we fail to counter threats in this hemisphere, they can and will slowly migrate across our undefended border to the south and become xivil in nature.

20 years ago, thos who hated the US and immigrated discovered they could gain more by working within our system than as aggressors. As our economy slows and population ages, resources may not be as easily deliverable by political whim as in the past.

IMHO, a substantial threat may begin to evolve by socialists within the US planning to redistribute private property to any group of foreign illegal immigrants in exchange for political power. Democracy might not be so popular when the republic is required to defend constitutional rights.


36 posted on 03/03/2006 7:47:16 PM PST by Cvengr (<;^))
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To: blam
Why is the world going insane? Is this some sort of political Paradise Lost, where people would rather rule in Hell than live under Pax Americana?
37 posted on 03/03/2006 7:51:07 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Peach; Mo1

Chavez armoring up ping


38 posted on 03/03/2006 7:52:22 PM PST by prairiebreeze (Casey Sheehan, thank you for your service. I'm proud of you. Even if your own mother isn't.)
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To: djpg
He's using the US as a pretext to arm. His real purpose it to use his military to suppress his own people.

You got it. Saddams vaunted "million man army" was to suppress his own people and to fight his neighbors. You saw how long it lasted going toe-to-toe against us... Venezuela's wouldn't even last that long.
39 posted on 03/03/2006 7:55:27 PM PST by Antoninus (The only reason you're alive today is because your parents were pro-life.)
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To: prairiebreeze

This guy is off his rocker.


40 posted on 03/03/2006 8:05:03 PM PST by Peach
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN

They've been doing the same thing in Cuba since 1959.


41 posted on 03/03/2006 8:08:21 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: cripplecreek

"If I were a neighboring nation I would be concerned. If we don't materialize as an enemy, he's going to be forced to find another."

Excellent point.


42 posted on 03/03/2006 8:11:20 PM PST by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
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To: blam

It would take us longer to pick up all the weapons his volunteer army throws away than it will to finish any fight with that little dictator.


43 posted on 03/03/2006 8:16:54 PM PST by jerry639
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To: cripplecreek
I wonder what's going to happen when our invasion doesn't materialize.

He's a socialist. He will invade his neighbors. You can set your watch by it. 10 years tops.

44 posted on 03/03/2006 8:22:21 PM PST by bad company ("Any damned fool can write a plan. It's the execution that gets you all screwed up." - James F. Hol.)
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To: bad company

chavez is in dire need of a golden BB


45 posted on 03/03/2006 8:37:00 PM PST by jneesy (certified southern right wing hillbilly nutjob)
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
I wonder what's going to happen when our invasion doesn't materialize.

I agree with the others on this board--the tired-ass, plucky-underdog stance is just a smokescreen for something else. The next North Korea may be coming from below the equator...

46 posted on 03/03/2006 9:14:41 PM PST by Alien Gunfighter (Isolationism now! This ain't the 40s!)
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To: blam

I never forget a face...That little shit took a leak in my Dad's bushes when he was supposed to be cutting his lawn back in 1994...


47 posted on 03/03/2006 10:37:18 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: djpg

He's using the US as a pretext to arm. His real purpose it to use his military to suppress his own people


I believe you just Prophecised my friend.


48 posted on 03/03/2006 11:07:08 PM PST by bobwilgo
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To: cripplecreek

Chavez is plotting the overthrow of oil and mineral rich Colombia.

When the Americans don't invade he will use any excuse to take on Colombia.


49 posted on 03/03/2006 11:10:08 PM PST by OKIEDOC (There's nothing like hearing someone say thank you for your help.)
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To: blam

Check out the recent FR post "Venezuela Receives First Shipment of Russian Military Helicopters". Lots of information on all kinds of military supplies he is getting.

The old saying "He who rides a tiger should beware he does not end up inside" comes to mind.


50 posted on 03/03/2006 11:45:25 PM PST by gleeaikin (Question Authority)
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