Hugo Chavez dressed in full regalia as military dictator of Venezuela. Food shortages triggered criticism of the government’s agricultural policies. Chavez has repeatedly said those policies are necessary for the sake of the country’s “food security.”
Venezuela’s Chavez Asks Military To Increase Role In Economy, Ag Sector
by Darcy Crowe
CARACAS (Dow Jones)–Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Friday asked the military to take a larger role in the nation’s economy and the agricultural sector.
During a military ceremony, Chavez addressed some of the army’s top brass by name and rank, saying, “I’m asking you to participate more in the strengthening of the economy.
“In the first months of next year we should structure, give birth, to production units in the agricultural sector…there we face too many deficiencies,” he said.
Some of the roles the military should assume are “agricultural battalions (and) soldiers of (economic) production, without forgetting about defending the country,” he said, without going into specifics.
In recent months, a wave of food shortages has triggered criticism of the government’s agricultural policies and price controls on food staples like beans and milk.
Chavez has repeatedly said those policies are necessary for the sake of the country’s “food security.”
Chavez, a former lieutenant colonel, has expanded the role of the military in Venezuela and boosted its budget.