Monday, April 03, 2006

Volunteer Militias Defend Bolivarian Revolution

The United States has a long history of using military force to topple leftist leaders in South America: Oscar Romero, Salvador Allende, and the Sandanistas to name a few. Hugo Chavez is trying to avoid this same fate.

In 2002, the Bush administration sponsored a coup attempt to force Chavez out of office, but the coup failed, and Chavez was reelected with 77% of the vote (that;s 28% more than Bush!). Since then, various conservatives in America have been tossing around the idea of assassinating Chavez. IN order to avoid another Pinochet from gaining power in the region, Chavez has begun training a massive force of civilian militias.

These militias are all volunteer, and are equivalent to the U.S. National Guard. "I'm here voluntarily and because I adore my president," Marasierra Diaz told the Jamaica Observer. Volunteers are given a small stipend of $7.50 for every training session they attend.

Chavez insists that the force will only be used for defense against an U.S. invasion, and not for offensive purposes.