Venezuelan National Militia
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|Venezuelan National Bolivarian Militia
Milicia Nacional Bolivariana de Venezuela
Coat of Arms of the National Militia until 2010
|Founded||April 13, 2009- present
(preceded by the Armed Reserve Corps 2000-2004 and the National Reserve and Mobilization Command 2004-2009)
|Allegiance||President of Venezuela|
|Role||Home defense, security of government facilities, reserve force of the Armed Forces|
|Size||160,000 Militia personnel|
|Part of||National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela under the Ministry of People's Power for Defense|
|Motto||Donde el Pueblo puede (Where the people can)|
|Colors||Black, White and Red|
|Anniversaries||April 13, National Militia Day|
|Commanding General of the National Militia||MGEN Yomar Rubio Silvia, Venezuelan Army|
The Venezuelan National Militia is a militia branch of the National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Its headquarters is at the National Military Museum, Fort Montana, Caracas.
The National Militia General Command is divided in two branches of its own plus a third branch divided into the two:
1. The National Reserve Service, consisting of all Venezuelan citizens who are not in active military service, or have completed national military service, or who voluntarily join the reserve units (all active reserve units are not part of the NM but of the service branches of the NAF)
2. The Territorial Guard Component, consisting of all Venezuelan citizens who voluntarily serve to organize local resistance to any external threat to the nation. These are divided into the Special Resistance Corps, aimed at the wartime and peacetime defense of public institutions and state and private enterprises, and the Workers' Territorial Militia Components divided into:
- General Employment Militia Detachments, the mobile quick action component stationed in all the states of Venezuela, metropolitan areas and cities
- Territorial Employment Militia Battalions, stationed strategically in key cities and townships in Venezuela and areas of key importance
- Community Militia Detachments, stationed in all townships and cities in all the states of Venezuela, mandated to keep the public order and defend government institutions and economical assets like factories
- Rural Employment Militia Battalions, stationed in all public farmlands
3. The People's Navy Branch, raised in 2013, which is the naval militia component that is mandated towards the defense of the Venezuelan coastline and territorial waters, itself divided into the Naval Reserve Command (part of the NRS) and the Workers' Naval Employment Territorial Militia Battalions, part of the TGC
Today the General Command of the National Militia is organized on the basis of nine (09) Reserve groupings, present throughout the national territory, dozen Special Resistance Corps (grouped around workers contingents of state and private sector enterprises and national institutions at all levels) plus the territorial national service militia commands mentioned, and even a newly created national guards brigade, and in the future, armor and aviation units. It is an autonomous and auxiliary force for the Armed Forces' service branches, with is own chain of command and service arms, reporting directly to the President, the Minister of Defense and the Operational Strategic Command. It can be estimated at the present time about 400,000 men and women are on various training levels, but the target of its authorities is to reach 1,100,000 part-time servicemen and women in the coming years. Today more than 160,000 men and women serve actively in the militia, with plans to have a half a million strong active force of reserve national servicemen and women in 2015.
The Commanding General of the National Militia is Major General Yomar Rubio Silva, Venezuelan Army.
The National Militia celebrates its anniversary every April 13 yearly.
The National Boliviarian Militia has been described as a "political army" created by the late Hugo Chávez that has hundreds of thousands of members in service, including military reservists and employees of state and public enterprises at all leveks. The militia is "under the direct command of the president" as the Commander in Chief of the National Armed Forces (through the authority of the Defense Minister and the Commandant of the Operational Strategic Command) and "are trained to defend the (Bolivarian) revolution of internal and external enemies". It has been alleged by El Mundo that the militia has sometimes used "violence to silence dissent or journalists who do not bow to the discourse of the regime".
- Milicia Bolivariana tendrá batallones de tanques. Infodefensa.com 17/01/2012.
- Boletín Especial N °. 1. Milicia Bolivariana: Armamento. Control Ciudadano. Caracas, 1-2011.
- Munera, Isabel (24 February 2014). "Los guardianes de la revolución" [The Revolution's guardians]. El Mundo. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- (Spanish) Official webpage of the National Militia
- (Spanish) Official webpage of the Ministry of Defense