Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Venezuela: Claims of military meddling

04 April 2013, 17:30

Caracas - The Venezuelan opposition and the government accused each other on Wednesday of seeking support from the military to meddle in the 14 April election to replace late president Hugo Chavez.

Opposition lawmaker Alfonso Marquina presented to the National Electoral Council (CNE) a list of active military officers who, he said, "conduct activities to mobilise" voters for the election "in co-ordination with political leaders" of the ruling PSUV party.

Marquina also handed an official document from the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) that allegedly refers to the opposition as an "enemy" and demanded a response from the top election body.

"It demonstrates that all the high-ranking officials of the national government are involved in the official communication networks of the FANB, which must be at the service of the CNE on April 14," he said.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles is hoping to pull an upset by defeating Chavez's designated successor, acting President Nicolas Maduro, in the election, which comes one month after Chavez lost his battle with cancer.

The brief campaign has already been marked by mudslinging between both candidates as they criss-cross the country to woo voters in the politically polarised country.

Past interference

Maduro had accused the opposition on Tuesday of "looking for soldiers who would betray the people and betray the memory of comandante Chavez, and refuse to recognise the people's victory".

"Really, there are elements, groups, that want to act inside the armed forces," Defence Minister Diego Molero said on Wednesday, stressing that the military was "impregnable".

The opposition has accused Molero of taking sides in the election, when the armed forces should remain impartial. The minister has said that the military would fulfil the wishes of Chavez, who asked Venezuelans to elect Maduro.

Soldiers have interfered in politics in the past, taking part in a short-lived coup against Chavez in 2002 while the late president led his own failed putsch when he was a young colonel in 1992.

Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, sought the loyalty of the armed forces and even described them as "Chavistas".

Before the October presidential election, in which he defeated Capriles by 11 points, Chavez created what he described as an "anti-coup" command.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...