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The military in Latin America

The Bolivarian armed forces in Venezuela

The powerful domestic political role achieved by the Venezuelan armed forces may, as suggested above, be an example of a particularly radical “stealth intervention”. Hugo Chávez, himself a former army colonel who had led unsuccessful military rebellions, eventually won democratic elections in 1998 and took office as president in 1999. Once in power he set about creating a specially privileged role for the military. A law banning political activity by active-service officers was repealed. Officers were appointed to run military-controlled state companies. The president gained the right to directly appoint and remove military officers, thereby accentuating their personal loyalty to him.

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