Chavez’s connections to the military and its corrupt leadership have become so deep, and his illness so debilitating, that he himself no longer has control over what happens in his name in Venezuela. This is because a corrupt band of profit oriented generals have used the authority associated with their positions for a variety of corrupt practices, all in the name of increasing their own power. The most disturbing of these practices has been the military’s participation in the rampant drug trade that has come to have a major influence over Venezuela’s politics and economy.
Not only does Chavez maintain close personal, political, and financial relationships with leading members of the military junta that are propping up his administration, he has created a dangerous network of paramilitary organizations dedicated to prolonging his rule no matter the electoral result in October. These so-called citizen supporters are a latent tool that the Chavistas may use to overturn the democratic outcome of the coming elections, and how the ruling junta deploys them, should be a major concern of the international community.