Predictably, after the failed coup of Juan Guaido, the ruling socialist party is busy indoctrinating the mass base by using their own militia groups to create a buffer against what they describe as a victory over US imperialism. Specifically they’re being trained in combat techniques, using surplus weapons of the Venezuelan Army, including well worn FALs and Kalashnikovs. According to InSight Crime, the most significant of the groups is Patriotic Forces For National Liberation- or FPLN, which is an outgrowth of the older FBL which has a violent past of assassinating Venezuelan politicians in the early 90s.

Their presence is significant not simply for the state sponsoring of fifth column groups but because the official move may telegraph larger destabilization in the region. The FARC in Colombia formally laid down their arms in 2017, but given the aims of both Russia and China to expand influence in the region, they may seek to capitalize on the hostilities between Colombia and Venezuela while expanding their influence by their FARC proxy.

Think Tet, but in Bogota.

Such a destabilization would would be incredibly bad, and spillover effects would definitely be felt along the southern border. But the move would fit with the numbers of Kalashnikovs being produced in Caracas, to the tune of 50,000 a year.

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