In order to commemorate the birth of the Liberator and the naval battle of Lake Maracaibo, a decisive event that achieved Venezuela’s independence and which also celebrates the Day of the Venezuelan Navy, the first Vice President of the National Assembly, Juan Pablo Guanipa, sent a message to the Venezuelan military, reminding them of the constitutional role played by the National Armed Forces in the defense, independence and sovereignty of the nation and invited them to assume their responsibility and return to the institutional framework to regain the trust of the Venezuelan people.
The parliamentarian indicated that “according to article 328 of our constitution, it is “…an essentially professional institution, without political militancy, organized by the State to guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the Nation and to ensure the integrity of the geographical space, through the military defence,”… “In the fulfilment of its functions, it is at the exclusive service of the Nation and in no case at the service of any person or political party”. The same Magna Carta, in its article 330, prohibits members of the National Armed Force from “participating in acts of propaganda, militancy or political proselytism”. The fact that some of its members have violated these rules makes us all demand compliance with the constitutional text. It is due to the constitution and by abiding by it we could achieve our objectives of democracy and freedom”.
Guanipa reflected on what the Venezuelan militia is suffering. “The internal situation of the National Armed Force is not far from the same tragedy that we Venezuelans are living: A small group of officers enjoy privileges, live well, with several houses, several cars, other properties, trips, they do not lack gold, food or bank credit. Meanwhile, the great majority of the enlisted troops, of the professional troop and of the officers themselves, subsist on low salaries, hunger, serious failures in social security, asking for queues to move, if a family member gets sick they have no way to respond. Add to this the high incidence of the coronavirus in the military ranks.”
He added that “many Venezuelan military are persecuted by the Cuban G2, even in their private lives, the SEBIN exercise political control, the DGCIM military control, the ‘colectivos’ exercise civil control and also organized crime. Hundreds of military personnel have been arrested and tortured, thousands are in exile. It is in this context that the testimony of Lieutenant Commander Rafael Acosta Arévalo emerges, who was tortured to death at the hands of the DGCIM. How is it possible that officer Alexander Enrique Granko Arteaga is involved in most of the abuses, trophies, tortures, persecution and death and his reward is a number one promotion”.
Guanipa also said that “the Colombian guerrilla Army of National Liberation through Alvaro Diaz Tarazona, alias Edward, recognizes in a video his links with Maduro and his dictatorship. How can he extol this relationship? The guerrilla has been the historical enemy of the National Armed Forces. How is it that this historical enemy is an ally of the dictatorship? How do some military personnel lend themselves to supporting this alliance? How is it that this guerrilla that murders Venezuelan military personnel has a pact with Maduro? And what about the relationship with international terrorist groups?”
He recalled that in July 2018 an army lieutenant was killed in Zulia State. “Author? The ELN. That same month in Caño Medio, Machiques de Perijá, an ELN anti-personnel bomb exploded, taking the life of a second sergeant and injuring several military personnel. November 2018, Atures Municipality in the State of Amazonas, 3 sergeants killed and 10 officers wounded at the hands of the ELN, and this is just to mention a few references”.
In this sense, he assured that the Venezuelan Armed Forces must fight the ELN guerrillas, the FARC, the Bolivarian National Liberation Front, the paramilitary groups and international terrorism.
He indicated that because of all of the above that the Armed Forces “must recover their institutional role of security and defense of the nation. It must take care of our borders and the Esequibo, confront those who have turned the Mining Arc into the most serious affront against our territorial integrity, with a profound environmental damage, to our ethnic groups and to future generations. Take responsibility, return to the institutional framework, recover the trust of the Venezuelan people”.
He ended by assuring that they will continue the struggle for the liberation of Venezuela and that a process of national transformation will be necessary afterwards. “We have and will have this Armed Force. What will be necessary changes in its leadership? Of course. Those who have committed crimes should be subject to the justice system.”