Chavism supporters, willing to defend the regime

In recent months, Chavista groups have tried to distance themselves from the "Maduristas"
Photo: Jorge Serratos/EL UNIVERSAL
15/07/2017
17:53
Caracas
Sonia Izquierdo
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The groups which support the government of Nicolás Maduro are known as Chavistas (in memory of former President Hugo Chávez) and they are the Armed Forces and most of the governors, mayors, ministers, officials, and militants of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

According to the official discourse, their ranks also include "all revolutionary Venezuelans," that is, the population working in government corporations and those who in one way or another receive government support and who do not dare to criticize the system for fear of losing the opportunity to get a something for their families.

The Barrio 23 de Enero, in Caracas, is the heart of Chavism; wall paintings everywhere make references to Hugo Chávez. This place is the cradle of "colectivos," paramilitary groups made up of organized and armed youths, who have been identified as responsible for the violence against opposition demonstrations and even for the death of some of them. They are considered defenders of the legacy of the former president, whose remains rest in a mausoleum built in this neighborhood, located strategically in front of the Palace of Miraflores.

In recent months Chavista groups have insisted on differentiating themselves from the "Maduristas," particularly after the president called for a Constituent Assembly to create a new Constitution to replace the one approved in 1999 at the beginning of Chávez's government. Among them, there are important political figures like Gabriela Ramírez, who was ombudsman in the Chávez government, and Miguel Rodríguez Torres, retired general and minister of the former president. Maduro disqualifies all of them by calling them "traitors."

Hundreds of people arrive at the official events of the president in Caracas. They believe in Maduro's speech, which they see as Chávez's heir, and whom they are willing to defend from the threats of imperialism that seek to end the Bolivarian revolution, as the president says.

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