“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he will expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias,” foxnews.com reports, “providing guns to as many as 400,000 loyalists. The announcement came as Maduro’s opponents are gearing up for the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands.” What could possibly go wrong? A little background . . .
The Bolivarian militias, currently at approximately 100,000, were created by the late Hugo Chavez to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace, Maduro said that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face “imperialist aggression.”
“A gun for every militiaman!” he cried.
See how that works?
If the prefatory clause of America’s Second Amendment — “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” — meant that only government approved militia members had the “right to keep and bear arms,” it would only be a matter of time that we’d be Venezuela.
Which has banned civilian firearms ownership, confiscated civilian firearms and tooled-up to counter “imperialist aggression.” Not so coincidentally, it’s also a country where human rights have taken a powder. Like this [via hrw.org]:
Under the leadership of President Hugo Chávez and President Nicolás Maduro, the accumulation of power in the executive branch and erosion of human rights guarantees have enabled the government to intimidate, censor, and punish its critics.
Severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food have intensified since 2014, and weak government responses have undermined Venezuelans’ rights to health and food. Security forces have arbitrarily detained and tortured protesters, and raids in low-income communities have led to widespread allegations of abuse.
Other persistent concerns include poor prison conditions and impunity for human rights abuses.
And now full scale armed repression by the Presidents’ “militia”? Count on it.