Maduro Brings in Militia in Response to Shortages


On Monday, the Venezuelan government created the “Superior Council for the Popular Defense of the Economy” (“Órgano Superior para la Defensa Popular de la Economía”), which will seek to manage the shortage of essential goods though the control and organization of companies producing, importing, and selling food and other supplies.

The council will be composed of Bolivarian militia members (Milicias Bolivarianas) and staff of other security agencies such as the Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana). They will work closely with ministers and representatives of other Venezuelan agencies.

The main concern with the council is not just its composition — which many believe is militarizing the production and supply of essential goods. The council’s decree is an imprecise mandate, to “assess the willingness of entrepreneurship to contribute to the proper development of the country and to political and social stability” and even “verify that the assignment of goods corresponds to local demand” at local markets.

Furthermore, the president holds the power to assign more functions to the council on a discretionary basis, which likely means that council members will interfere with daily activities of businesses, under the guise of preventing shortages.

Source: El Universal. Read More »

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