CARACAS – Venezuela will change its legislation to make the powerful Bolivarian militia, known as the ‘National Revolutionary Militia’ a part of the Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB), Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in his speech on Saturday.
Earlier this month, Maduro said the number of Venezuela’s militia would be raised from 2.1 million personnel to 3 million by December 2019.
“Commander Chavez dreamed of a powerful and large militia… The militia will receive a constitutional classification as an integral part of the country’s armed forces,” Maduro said, adding that legislation would be changed for that measure.
The decision comes amid a deep political crisis in Venezuela. The crisis worsened in January, when US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself the country’s acting president. Maduro remains in power backed by countries such as China and Russia, among others, and accuses Guaidó of conspiring to overthrow him with the support of Washington.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made Venezuela’s economic and political crisis the central theme of his four-day trip to Latin America. On Saturday, Pompeo called the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, a “tyrant” that caused the ruin of the South American country and its people.
Pompeo made the comment during his trip to Latin America, which had as one of the stops the Paraguayan capital, Asunción. There, the American spoke with the Paraguayan president, Mario Abdo Benitez, about the Venezuelan crisis, the strengthening of democracy in the region and the fight against transnational crime.
Pompeo also said that Paraguay is a partner in US efforts to oust Socialist Maduro and replace him with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, whose self-proclamation as interim president was supported by dozens of countries.
Paraguay broke diplomatic relations with Caracas in 2018 and the Venezuelan crisis has been the central theme of the Latin American tour of four countries in Pompeo.
Pompeo also said on Saturday that it was important to “overthrow” criminal organizations operating in the area of the triple border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.