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April 04, 2006


Comandante Gringo

Thanx greatly for this article. It fills in a big gap in my understanding of what's going on in Venezuela.


Very little information on how the army is different now from what it was before Chávez.

Accurately shows how the army is Chávez's real political party and the power behind the throne.

Some revolution, eh?

Ricardo Armando

During my bief vsisit to Caracas I thought I could perceive the pulse of a new culture in he capital_ not only literacy for the people but also the nex necessary phase: encouraging people to reading books. In this respect,I liked the allusion to Cervantes in the official posters for its meaningful goals and higher ethics.

The other thing I noticed was the morale of the people in the barrio we visited _ trust in themselves and in their Government. I thought I saw some proud dignity they find in their own work and in improving their living conditions through the additional productivity of their cooperatives.

A woman told us how their spirit of cooperation and organizatin makes their medical service more effective. Also, she was emphatic in assuring us that the people in her barrio were organized to take active part in the defence of their system through civilian actions in case it was necessary to combat a foreign enemy.

If as we read in this article the Army take an active part in this process, my impression is that the Bolivarian Venezuela is in fact inaugurating a new and very important era in Latin America: burying the era of the military as instruments of oppression of and confrontation with the people, and instead, coming to help the vast majority of the population in their efforts to build a new culture of human dignity, social justice and peace. I wish them success and I hope that they receive the necessary support from the other peoples of the continent, and of the world.

Carlos Kennedy

Whilst I have to praise the many cases of genuinely positive work being done by the Venezuelan military in conjunction with the community workers of the barrios, I cannot help but raise the issue of corruption in the military itself. My friends and I have been "stung" many times by mainly young military officers supposedly performing routine checks on civilians.

Military officers often bribe civilians if they are not carrying all necessary papers, and I have even seen checkpoint officers erroneously quoting or simply fabricating Articles and Legislation to justify the extortion of money, goods or favours. This practice is endemic and is widely considered a "perk of the job". I imagine that younger officers are common offenders because they are on low pay, but in a position of authority. The public have learned to simply put up with it, and to never fully trust a "militar".

Until this is addressed from the top down and the bottom up, the roll of the military as an agent of social development will be severely undermined. I for one would be slightly sceptical of any supposedly beneficial activity being administered by the military in my neighbourhood.


The reality of a "New Threat" with Old Tactics is clear and evident that old enemies are alive and willing like in the Cold War Era which seems to be revived...U.S. intelligences may have a future challenge even with all it's outcomes as of today...not only the internal enemies but the surroundings of a New Dawn of Latin American Threats...A fight in the future in such a Continent is a task to deal with along with so many others we are seeing arrive as a New Dawn comes in the beginning of another shows up with a New challenge to be met...U.S. people need to be redirected...tapped in with a New Source for the forthcoming...

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