A Venezuelan non-governmental organization (NGO) denounced that the number of military personnel contemplated in the country’s State Budget (OE) for 2023, “more than four million military personnel”, does not correspond to reality.
“The OE project for 2023 contemplates 4,408,103 military personnel as full-time permanent personnel, under the Ministry of Defense. There is no such number of military personnel in the four components” of the country’s Armed Forces, said the lawyer and rights activist Rocío San Miguel, in a statement by the NGO Control Ciudadano (CC).
In the Army, Navy, Air Force and Bolivarian National Guard [polícia militar] “That amount of military personnel does not exist”, and “the origin of this number is unknown, especially if compared to the allocated budget”, indicated the president of the CC, denouncing that the authorities “continue to lie to the country, violating the Constitution”.
The number of military officers in the Ministry of Defense of Venezuela appears in a document on human resources, from the subcommittee on Economy, Finance and Development, presented for debate by the deputy of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV, in power) José Gregório Vielma Mora.
The document specifies that of the 4,408,103 permanent military officers, 2,743,895 are men and 1,934,208 are women.
“A country’s military strength is a very serious matter, it should not lead to confusion and it is irresponsible to inflate the numbers in a fictitious way, as reflected in the bill about to be approved,” said Rocío San Miguel.
On the other hand, the CC released a resolution from the Ministry of Defense of Venezuela, in which the Minister of Defense, General Vladimir Padrino López, approved the creation of six decentralized administrative units to execute the OE for 2023.
The NGO said that, since 2017, there has been no detailed public disclosure of the OE for the country’s Armed Forces and the “memoirs and accounts” have not been known since 2015.