With many touting the recent vote for a Constitutional Assembly as rigged, Venezuelan soldiers are increasingly stuck in the middle between the regime of President Nicolas Maduro and the people. With government protests and rioting a constant threat, the military is growing weary of the backlash against their role in quelling these anti-government protests.
Now there are questions as to see if it will remain loyal to President Maduro. Maduro has already been purging the military of those he deems disloyal and there are those who wonder if the military will once again rebel and remove Maduro from power.
Nearly five months of demonstrations failed to stop Maduro carrying out a weekend vote for a Constitutional Assembly that opponents say will cement his dictatorship in the OPEC nation.
The opposition is now looking towards the military to see if it will turn against the government and pressure Maduro to enact its demands, which include presidential elections.
More than 120 people have been killed in the protests, drawing international condemnation of the security forces’ heavy-handed tactics.
In an unofficial referendum last month, the opposition asked Venezuelans whether the military should defend the current constitution and the National Assembly – which is expected to be dissolved by the Constitutional Assembly – in an apparent attempt to exert public pressure on the armed forces.
Venezuela was once South America’s most prosperous nation but failed policies of the Socialist government have thrust the nation into despair. And with people starving and many fleeing their borders, something has got to give.
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