Civilians in the Venezuelan militia to add up one million
Maduro: All slums will have to be for the militia: with its rifle, its organization to defend the homeland
From a local community to the east of Caracas, Maduro said that "sooner than later the militia will be comprised by one million civilians and, at that moment, all slums will have to be for the militia: with rifles, an organization to defend the homeland (...) not with individual weapons to engage in actions against society, robbing and kidnapping."
The militias were founded by Venezuelan late President Hugo Chávez as a body to support the Bolivarian National Armed Force. Based on their principles, they are comprised by civilians for the "total defense of the nation."
The Government refers to the militias as "people in arms," yet foes have stressed the creation of these groups seeks the militarization of the whole Venezuelan society.
They are marching in step to the same tune. There is a coordinated effort to position the idea. The Twitter hashtag #YoSoyVictimaDeLaGuarimba (I'm a victim of "guarimbas", or protest barricades) can be read on all pro-government Twitter accounts, including those of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the National Assembly's Press Office, the state-run food distribution network PDVAL, state airline Conviasa, the Venezuelan embassies in foreign countries, radio stations and the huge media network responsive to the Government's interests and messages.