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Andean Group - May 2012 (ISSN 1741-4466)

VENEZUELA: The role of the Bolivarian militias

These are uncertain times in Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez’s recent moves to set up opaque new bodies like an ‘anti-coup command’ and his sudden activation of a ‘council of state’ (a presidential advisory body contemplated in the 1999 constitution but never established) has fuelled speculation that the president, who is seeking his third consecutive re-election on 7 October next, is laying the groundwork for some sort of transition should he fail to recover from his year-long battle against cancer. There is a lot of concern about a violent transitional period should Chávez be unable to continue in the race, or if the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, were to win the presidency in October.

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