The Inflection Point: Venezuela's Military Begins To Defect, March With Protesters

Tyler Durden's picture

One month ago, when discussing the latest "explosive" turn in Venezuela's political situation, we predicted that the worst case for president Nicolas Maduro who has so far managed to keep the army on his side even as Venezuela faces now daily violent and in some cases deadly protests, would be the start of the local army turning on the regime, and defecting to join the protesters. Overnight, according to Thor Halvorsen of the Human Rights Foundation, this "inflection point" appears to have arrived when he observed in a Tweet that "the military in parts of Venezuela has begun to defect. They are now marching *with* the protesters. Dozens of soldiers are under arrest."

Touching on this topic, overnight the NYT mused why have Venezuela's "powerful political and military elites stuck by President Nicolás Maduro", noting that "the country would seem to be a prime candidate for something scholars call an “elite fracture,” in which enough powerful officials break away to force a change in leadership."

“The fact that it hasn’t happened in the last two years is the biggest puzzle of all,” said Steven Levitsky, a Harvard University political scientist. “If it happens next week, all of us will say, ‘Yeah, it was bound to happen.’”

The NYT further notes that the government has been preparing its defenses since 2002. That year, amid major protests, Hugo Chávez, Mr. Maduro’s predecessor, ordered the military to impose order.

It instead removed him in a coup that was quickly reversed. After that, Mr. Chávez packed the military with allies. The military also gained vast patronage streams, which some local officials say include control over gold mining.


The impossibility of fully predicting how the military might decide in another crisis, along with growing unrest that could again test it, has left the government nervous.

All that may now be changing. In March, a video spread on social media showing three lieutenants who said they no longer recognized Mr. Maduro’s authority. The next month, they turned up in Colombia, where they requested asylum. The Venezuelan government has publicly demanded their return, which Mr. Levitsky called “pretty clear evidence that the government is worried about some sort of conspiracy” within the ranks.

The latest open army defections threaten to further splinter what until recently was a united front among the "elites" supporting the crumbling Maduro regime.

Meanwhile, as the death toll from the recent protests approaches 40, women banged on pans and some stripped off their shirts on Saturday protesting Venezuela's government in an event the opposition billed as a "women's march against repression."

As they marched, local media carried a video showing people toppling a statue of the late President Hugo Chavez the day before in the western state of Zulia, the Associated Press reported. The local media reported that students destroyed the statue as they vented their anger with the food shortages, inflation and spiraling crime that have come to define life here.

"Several young men could be seen bashing the statue that depicted the socialist hero standing in a saluting pose, as onlookers hurled insults as the late president."

Describing the women's protest, AP writes that thousands of women took over streets in major cities all around the South American country.

Wearing the white shirts of the opponents of country's increasingly embattled government, the women sang the national anthem and chanted, "Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want? Freedom!"


Some sported makeshift gear to protect against tear gas and rubber bullets. Others marched topless. One woman came in her wedding dress.

Meanwhile, as has been the case almost every day for the past five weeks, police in riot gear again took control of major roads in the capital city. Clashes between police and protesters have left some three dozen dead in the past month.

And as has also been the recurring case, on Friday Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez denounced the protest movement, and said opposition "terrorists" were attempting a kind of nonconventional warfare. 

For now, the protest movement, which has drawn masses of people into the street nearly every day since March, shows no sign of slowing. On Saturday, some of the women marchers approached soldiers in riot gear to offer them white roses and invite them to join the cause. "What will you tell your kids later on?" one woman asked.

As Reuters reported earlier in the week, embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday announced the creation of a new popular assembly which demonstrators decried as a power grab aimed at sidelining the National Assembly. Borges responded by calling on Venezuelans to rebel.

According to Bloomberg, on a call with the president of Peru, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the deteriorating situation in Venezuela. A statement from the White House's Office of the Press Secretary said Trump underscored to President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski that "the United States will work together with Peru in seeking to improve democratic institutions and help the people of Venezuela." The administration added that it is monitoring Venezuelan instability, and believes there is a strong need to bring weeks of anti-government protests in the country's capital Caracas to a quick and peaceful conclusion.

“We are deeply concerned about the Maduro government’s violent crackdown on protestors in Venezuela. President Maduro’s disregard for the fundamental rights of his own people has heightened the political and economic crisis in the country,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in a statement. “The Maduro regime must respect Venezuela’s constitution and the voice of its people. We are particularly concerned that the government is failing to provide basic food and medical needs to the Venezuelan people,” Haley said.

H.R. McMaster, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, met on Friday with Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly, about the civil unrest which has been near-daily for five weeks, the White House said on Saturday.

Finally, assuring that daily protests are only set to escalate further, on Saturday Borges, the leader of the left-wing party in Venezuela called for open rebellion as well as Maduro's resignation, while rejecting any "dialogue" with the administration.

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Looney's picture


It looks like Venezuela is slightly ahead of us, but hey… we are gettin’ there too.  ;-)


mofreedom's picture

If only they had had the joy of Obama as president, they would be in paradisio right now just like us.

Deathrips's picture

Mercenaries loyalty is only as solid as their payment and food.


Govt s worldwide take note....




Future Jim's picture

They just needed to manage their economy better. They didn't centralize enough. They didn't have enough socialism. They should have used more computerization. They should have listened to the experts. At least, that is what we learn from the Zeitgeist Trilogy.

Deathrips's picture


Socialism worked perfectly. Socialists looted the peoples labor, assets and lives.

Cause some are more equal than others.

"Rules for thee, but not for me." every socialist/ communist/ cultural marxist/ fascist/ statist/ collectivist/ mob rule/ fuckers!



eatthebanksters's picture

I wonder which one of them has the bullet with Maduro's name on it that will splatter his head like burst melon...btw, you forgot 'cocksuckers'.

Deathrips's picture

That must be the cause of downvotes ....i forgot they are also cocksuckers like obama.



Mr 9x19's picture

this stage has been anticipated by maduro, he has equiped loyalists 3 weeks ago....

Luc X. Ifer's picture

The same would happen in US, police and military wouldn't kill their own family and friends.

y3maxx's picture

Who will save Venezuela?





Saudi Arabia


WorkingFool's picture

Q: Why haven't Bernie, Pocahontas and all our other Marxists in media, universities and politics moved to Venezula already?  A: My guess, they still have work to do here.  

Never think for a second the tens of millions murdered by Marxist governments matter to these globalist elites.  Fuck these evil DemocRAT pieces of dog shit.   

Terminus C's picture

Red, blue,

Red, blue,

You still don't get it,

Do you...

Al Gophilia's picture

The officers will be the last to defect.

techpriest's picture

Doesn't matter - this is:

1) The zombie apocalypse. It turns out though, that "the zombies" are in fact starving humans with nothing else on their mind but eating.


2) The ones being put down are also the tax slaves. When they stop working, there are no taxes paid and none to confiscate. This causes the loyalists to go hungry, and turn rebel.

At this point he can only delay the inevitable. I'm guessing he's getting his travel plans together, though he will never be safe again.

Chupacabra-322's picture

There has been a major spike in the number of trains being spotted moving military hardware. Just within the last month, there have been dozens of videos from Montana, Iowa, Texas, Georgia, and now Florida. Maybe it's normal movements or shit's getting ready to hit the fan. Either way, I'm safe. I just ordered my tin-foil hat that'll prevent the CIA from listening to my private conversations through my dental fillings :P

Anyway, the military equipment includes the following:

M992 Field Artillery Ammunition Supply Vehicle(FAASV), M109A6 155mm Self-Propelled , Howitzer, M1 Abrams, M198 155mm towed howitzer, M88A2 Recovery Vehicle, Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV), M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Up-Armored M1078 LMTV, HMMWV Variant, M1087 MTV, Van Expansible, M1089 MTV, Wrecker, M1083 MTV, Cargo

N2OJoe's picture

In the US they may not kill their own friends and family but they'll readily kill YOURS for the paycheck.

Sam.Spade's picture

Good video, thanks for posting the link.

Stuck on Zero's picture

That statue of Hugo Chavez is too light weight to be bronze. It's clearly potmetal with a touch of brass plating. Very reminiscint of the regime.

N2OJoe's picture

I thought it sounded more like plastic.

New_Meat's picture

after all of this, and to demonstrably turn against their gang?

I bet that there are many needles in this haystack.  As it were.

El Oregonian's picture

It is a puzzlement that men can become so complacent until finally women decide that they have had enough, then a turning point begins. fascinating.

Deathrips's picture

The regularly scheduled programming created normalcy that women should be in charge of everything.

It is also not surprisingly coincidental that unless your mother is a central banker you are not one of ((((THEM))))


See any correlation? "Protect the queen bee at all costs" Hive





techpriest's picture

One of the third-world values is female leadership, and adult males being boys who will do what momma tells him, instead of leading himself, then his family, and then the world around him. I get why though - it's very hard to do, and you don't always get praise for it.

The existing system will be torn down, but until there is a fundamental change of attitudes, nothing particularly great will be built back up. Large-scale success is incredibly rare in history, and we don't see this simply because we grew up in it.

Chupacabra-322's picture

Venezuela president dances in between protest outbreak.
They're having such fun.

I hope they save some of that joy when they get into jail, or in front of a firing squad, who knows.


Freddie's picture

No sex for you tonight Pedro.

My guess is the military is also getting less stuff.  The cops and the military get paid until the end.

The Bibi-loving Neocon war loving conservatives at places like Free Republic will say the US military and police will always be with us.   As long as Gomer Pyle or Pedro Pyle or Trayvon Pyle has a paycheck, a pickup and cheap booze and cigs at the commissary then they will do what they are told.

See Waco 1 & 2 plus Ruby Ridge.  The public showed up at Bundy.  The jails and courts are making examples of Bundy.  Trump should pardon them but the fake even turned on Assange. 


techpriest's picture

"No sex for you tonight Pedro."

At first I was running on the usual "3rd world values" line of thinking, but I might be wrong this time.

Usually, when I throw out that line, it's about the kind of guy whose one-dimensional life goal is to fuck everyone else. With women, literally, and with men, financially. When everyone is trying to fuck each other over, any legitimate wealth is dissipated immediately.

But in this case I might be wrong. It's quite likely, instead, that for the average guy, he has a family and doesn't want to put his life on the line because his family is on the line, by extension. But, when his kid dies of malnutrition and his wife is starving, he's got nothing to lose, and he wants to make the asshole who did this to his family pay, and pay very dearly.

U4 eee aaa's picture

Women usually get paid less in society, get more menial jobs and often get abandoned with the kids so when things break down they are the first to suffer. Guys can do a lot of things women can't or won't.

This is why the women tend to rise up or motivate their deadbeat guys to rise up

And a trick for frugal shopping. If you want to find the cheapest store in town for shopping, just look at how many women and seniors are in the store. If it is crowded with women and seniors, it is a pretty good bet you are getting good value for your dollar

techpriest's picture

For the same work, women get paid more than men, on average. The wage gap has been repeatedly disproven in this sense.

Now with that in mind, I teach programming, and there's no discrimination - anyone who wants to show up, may. And when I say "no discrimination," I got some training on the subject, which includes how to read a woman's emotions and whether she is uncomfortable. Many women will not attend if they are the only one.

Now, some women do come and take me up on my offer to learn programming, and they are great students. Sometimes greater than the average man in the same course. But, not many women show up, even if invited. IMO, the reason is because my course deals with living on the edges of society - you cannot ask anyone for help because there are few to ask, and there is no textbook or set of rules to follow. Of course, many men are afraid to tread such ground also.

Aside from this, when I was part of some women-in-STEM programs, I thought it was perverse to take a young girl, who was quite happy, and then corner her and tell her what a terrible person she was because she didn't act like a man, and even worse, didn't want to earn a lot of money for the bankers and tax man. I think there is a false manliness that fails to respect women, but feminism is even more evil because it hates femininity.

gallistic's picture

I am so disappointed.

You failed to tell us if they got it good and hard...

Deathrips's picture

This is the inevitable future for all governments whos checks dont clear. 



Unknown User's picture

This is the inevitable future for all governments that borrow numbers from the banksters' computers and then force people to repay interest working for the banksters.

Deathrips's picture

Ill assume your downvote is above. if not I apologize.


So lets talk.


Governments sensing that they can no longer pay their mercenaries in a panic pledge loyalty to banking entities that help them change the money so they arent insolvent. Thus throughout history they moneychangers have taken care to watch for irresponsible leadership ( and even sponsor it when possible) waiting for an opportunity to use debt servitude to protect a politicians neck for just a bit longer.


It is a power grab because some are not chosen and they should serve.

"all my kingdom for a blank check"

You disagree..why?


Chupacabra-322's picture

Preverbal question:

Where is Venezuela's Gold?

TheVillageIdiot's picture

Nothing like a yyyuuuuuge competition to spice things up

problemfixr's picture

If not for the food stamp card replacing the food lines, we would have been there long ago.  IMHO

Village-idiot's picture

Not quite!

In the US there is still food being produced and is in the stores for sale.

When there's no longer food in the stores for any amount of money it won't matter what the minimum wage is or how much you get on welfare or if you've got food-stamps.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Venezuela is having a color revolution.Jewmerica already had her own purple one

truthseeker47's picture

Sooner or later, socialists always run out of other people's money.

chunga's picture

They really need to learn how to just print it, force everyone to use it, then kill everyone who doesn't.

Boxed Merlot's picture

And if you think this doesn't have roots with the Levitical, (COHEN), priests in the temple only accepting their "brothers" script from other places as a means to purchase debt resolution devices, please "think again", or in the other more or less noticeable English translated / transliterated term "re-pent" actually conveys.


meditate_vigorously's picture

I can't speak for the other downvotes, but that false dichotomy is tiresome. It was invented by the controlled opposition.

Capitalists seem perfectly content to steal everyone elses money through usury and oligopolies.

Neither socialism nor capitalism offer any solutions compatible with human nature. So go drink kool-aid.

post turtle saver's picture

I'm sorry, but you get a downvote and frankly deserve thousands... because Socialism sucks, has been proven worse than Capitalism time and time and again, and will ALWAYS suck and be worse than a society that adheres to free market values and the protection of personal property...

I'm getting pretty sick and tired of all the moral relativism and weak logic that gets employed on this site by many posters in defense of the indefensible.. Socialism...

in particular I'm tired of these shitty "Tu Quoque" fallacies that socialist nutswingers trot out every time Socialism is proven (yet again) not to work... quit fucking deflecting, the facts in front of us are Venezuela went from a free market to a socialist economy and now we see, yet again, what a flat out mistake that is for a people and nation to do...

you can point out the ills of Capitalism a million times over and it won't change the fact that SOCIALISM IS A FAILURE, ever... take that weak ass shit out of here, you won't get any traction from free thinking men who fucking know better and THAT's a fact...

Potato Farmer's picture

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every nation is capitalistic.  Capital is another word for wealth, those physical things we need, lest we die.

The difference lies in a nation's policy--policy that governs the production and exchange of that wealth.  If you don't govern against a person's tendency to steal, cheat, and undervalue another person, good luck.

Monopolization to gouge, speculation to purposely overvalue or undervalue, and forced slavery are very real evils. And yes, debt is death.

And don't talk to me about "rule of law".  That only works with a citizenry willing to obey the law and a police willing to enforce it.

WorkingFool's picture

It's really very simple.  Either individuals have liberty or the the state does.  America was founded on individual and has been perverted into a collectivist utopia.  Which tree speaks for the forest?  Marxism is just another word for slavery. Fuck off.

post turtle saver's picture

capitalism - an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state

there, I looked it up for you... and, given the definition, your premise is wrong... it's obvious by inspection that not every nation practices capitalism, and many that do less than moreso are fucking third world socialist shitholes where people have no rights or property...

we aren't discussing capital, we're discussing capitalism... stay on point

and, I'll talk to you about the rule of law and to anyone else who will listen until they understand the meaning of things and exhibit the will to act on what is just and correct... so, expect more of this as I don't plan to stop

chunga's picture

These "ism" debates are purely academic and silly. How do you define what's going on in the shining city on a hill and wall street?

Is it a strict adherence to this-ism or that-ism than enables it's fraudulent ponzi scheme to continue? I don't think so, it only continues because of reserve currency/petro dollar.

And that only continues because of the money conjuring tricks from the fed. The money-changers can't have the giant military without the fraudulent money tricks, and you can't force the fraudulent money tricks on the world without the giant military.  

Without the threat of killing objectors to US hegemony it would fall apart, no matter what you call it.

Lazarus Syndrome's picture

Thatcher, your words still ring true.

indio007's picture

The Venezuela psy-op continues.

The use the same damn play book. Topple statues , alleged military defectors blah blah blah.


Great Deceivah's picture

Yep, who can forget the staged event of the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue?
We all know, how well that turned out..