Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | February 16, 2012

Pro-Chavez Child Soldiers in Venezuela

There surfaced photographs of child soldiers in Venezuela, holding M-16 machine guns.

The photos were taken on January 23rd, a national holiday marking the overthrow of the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958. The child soldiers are part of the pro-Chavez paramilitary group, “La Piedrita,” whose headquarters are in the barrio 23 of January, a slum named after the same historical event. This neighborhood in western Caracas is where Chavez votes and where he was in hiding during the failed coup of 1992.

Dr. Vanessa Neumann reported of a new law which forces all schools across Venezuela, public and private, to train children in the use of weaponry and military tactics. At home, the Chavez government says the children train for the nation’s defense against an invasion by the US and in support of the Bolivarian Revolution.

But when the photos of the very young child soldiers were released on Facebook and Twitter and diffused on the internet, Chavez condemned arming children.

“This is a serious irresponsibility,” Chavez said during a nationally televised address. “This hurts the revolution.”

He added, “I doubt they (people arming children) are true revolutionaries; they must be CIA infiltrators.”

Related:

When It Comes To Arming Children, It Is Showing The Pictures That Is a Crime in Venezuela

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