Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stated it is necessary to increase the number of the Bolivarian national police-a civilian militia that is part of the country’s armed forces, by one million people by the end of this year.
The call for an increase in the number of police, which reports directly to the President, was made against the backdrop of attempts by opposition leader Juan Guaido to convince the Venezuelan military to abandon support for Maduro. The national police remains loyal to the President.
Guaido, supported by the United States of America, declared himself President of Venezuela on January 23, accusing the current leader of the country Maduro of rigging the results of the presidential elections in 2018.
According to the BBC’s regional editor in the Americas, Candas Piette, Maduro’s call to increase the number of militias should be seen as an attempt to protect himself, both politically and physically.
At a rally in Caracas, President Maduro praised the actions of the civilian militia and “its readiness to defend the peace, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its country with arms in its hands”.
In addition, he called on two million militia members to take an active part in agricultural work, as Venezuela continues to struggle with the growing economic crisis, which is causing many people in the country to suffer from food shortages.
“You are ready to stand up for your homeland with arms in your hands, but you have to plow and sow to grow crops for society, for people now,” Maduro addressing to the participants of militia.
Juan Guaido, in turn, urged compatriots to take to the streets to put an end to the rule of the usurper. He spoke the need to redouble efforts to remove Maduro from power at an anti-government rally.
Guido laid on Maduro responsible for hyperinflation, energy crisis and shortage of food and medicines which the country has faced in recent times. Maduro blames the US.