The military of Myanmar and Venezuela

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There is a growing movement of groups of Venezuelan political and business leaders who are increasingly in the process of considering an agreement with the regime to participate in elections for governors this year and of finalizing a normalization of relations with the regime. This will serve to lower the pressure on the regime and probably will be negotiated without obtaining any conditions of change in the future. Rather, what it would do is consolidate the current realities in exchange for support to try to relax US sanctions. Due to the importance of the military presence in the Venezuelan regime, it is convenient to reflect on the behavior of left-wing soldiers in power throughout the world, especially after the most recent chapter of their actions in Myanmar. Additionally, it includes “Political regression in the global world” and “The regime in action.”

Left-wing military in power

In Latin America there is extensive experience of the military directing the executive power during the 19th and 20th centuries. Typically they were right-wing regimes (with different variants), in which civilians held the main key positions and sometimes not the key ones as well. Wherever the communists and left-leaning military have come to power in the world, the experience is quite different. The military ends up taking positions, for which they have not been prepared, and in addition, military-owned companies are formed that operate as monopolies. The experience with these left-wing soldiers is that they invade all spaces and do not hand over power. The most recent example is Myanmar, where the military after the economic disaster they generated in 50 years had to accept co-government with Aung San Suu Kyi in 2016. She, in the hopes of maintaining the balance, even publicly supported the military in the face of grave accusations of Human Rights violations with the minority muslim Rohingya, thus soiling her record as a freedom fighter and as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. It was of little use, since the military, fearing the loss of their perks after recent elections, simply enacted a new coup and jailed her and her entourage.

In Venezuela, there is a military presence at all of the state levels and their attitude has been that of not handing over power or accepting transitions. The situation is also much more complex:

  • Territorial control is exercised by local military personnel, who are also capable of reversing decisions made from the military leadership.
  • In the different territories, the local military share power with irregular people involved in different illegal activities. Conveniently, the system created makes these the best options for generating wealth.
  • Additionally and incredibly the local military also share power with foreign based guerrillas.

Experience indicates that the leftist leaning military do not hand over power unless they are forced by a grave economic situation and / or international pressure. Strengthening the regime with political and economic support without achieving real conditions for change, is to extend the tragedy over time.

Political setback in the global world

After the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, the global diplomatic and political discourse was transformed reflecting the political changes that occurred. The different countries of the former Soviet bloc adopted measures to liberalize their economies. Their representatives began to use an international language that was perfectly understood and made the rest of the world feel as equals. In parallel, China made economic reforms that paved the way for one of the most extraordinary transformations of its society. The Communist Party was never dismantled, for many years the primary interest was economic and for this they imitated the West. However, communist political power is a cancer, and finally now they decided that they would use China’s economic and technological strenghts for their own ends. They are already in the process of clipping the wings of large Chinese tech companies. Today, Russia and China share the same attitude much like they did all throughout the Cold War. Not only in their public demonstrations and in the use of the veto power at the United Nations, but also and more importantly the support of anti-democratic regimes throughout the world: Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela. Today Western Europe does not confront Russia, but history tells us it will have to eventually. China is much more complicated, especially for the United States.

The regime in action

The regime is financially in dire straits and is looking for spaces to recover. Venezuela has managed to locate allies, with little to lose, who are ready to work on any illegality. In any case, these allies have no resources and to provide the support they demand payment from Venezuela in exchange. The regime works with the expectation that with Biden in the United States there could be a relaxation of the pressure. Of course, in this game are also present the European allies, especially the Spanish government. Venezuela does not have resources, which is why it is putting internal pressure on the opposition and businessmen to achieve sanctions relief. The regime makes the “immense” concession to go to Fedecamaras and also Maduro “admits” that he held a private meeting with a delegation from Norway. On the other hand, part of the opposition seeks “spaces” with the participation in elections for governors. These neither generate pressure nor offer spaces to begin the necessary changes. Let the Aung San Suu Kyi lesson be a warning to all. In reality, the offer of governor elections is a trap, because of the control that the regime has over the election process and even worse because of the financial power that the central state maintains over the governors’ budgets. The potential opposition governors would be de facto political “eunuchs.”

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