Venezuela Can’t Feed Its Soldiers, So They’re Rebelling

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Joseph Lafave Contributor
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The number of Venezuelan military members arrested this year for desertion and rebellion is three and half times higher than it was just one year ago, according to a new report from Reuters.

During the first four months of 2018, 172 Venezuelan Soldiers were arrested for treason, compared to the 196 who were arrested for the same crime in all of 2017.

These numbers represent a plummeting morale in the Venezuelan armed forces. This is largely attributed to the lack of food and meager salaries among servicemembers — who on average earn just $2 a day.

“It’s so demoralizing to open the fridge and see it empty of meat, fish, chicken, ham, cheese, and other basics,” said an anonymous 42-year-old National Guard sergeant major while speaking to Reuters.

These figures are not a good sign for Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolás Maduro, who is up for re-election this weekend. However, some experts believe that Maduro will win another term, despite the abysmal conditions inside the South American country that has forced thousands of Venezuelan citizens and soldiers alike to flee into neighboring countries.

Unfortunately for Maduro, the rising dissent in the armed forces may make it harder for his regime to retain power, as Venezuelan National Guard troops are routinely called into action to suppress protesters. Last year, 125 people were killed in the clashes between government forces and demonstrators, according to Reuters.