Speech by Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro at the ceremony of loyalty and recognition by the Bolivarian National Armed Force
Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros: Special guests of the world -from 94 countries and the United Nations system- present today in this ceremony of reaffirmation, ratification and recognition; we are honored with the presence of presidents, prime ministers, and high special envoys of the governments worldwide. Estimated Venezuelan public authorities, comrades from the Bolivarian National Armed Force Superior Staff; dear General-in-Chief Master Perez Arcay, who is here today with us, leading us with his example of determination, discipline and permanent devotion for our Homeland. Dear comrades, today January 10, represents undoubtedly and with no exaggeration a historical special date for Venezuela. The January 10, 2019 will never be forgotten because we were engaged -and still are- in an epic, unique and heroic battle to tell the world: “Venezuela shall be respected” and only the Venezuelans can lead and rule Venezuela, without intervention from any imperial power or foreign government. Venezuela belongs to Venezuelans. We do not accept any tutelage! As the citizen elected by the people to exercise the Presidency of the Republic for the 2019 – 2025 term, it feel to me swear in before the supreme tribunal of the Republic, pursuant Article 231 of our Constitution and, once I have sworn and taken office as President of the Republic, I also assume the Command-in-Chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Force for the same tenure, as expressly and precisely provided for in the Constitution, unequivocally. This ceremony is being simultaneously broadcasted in radio and television nationwide; hence I want to thank the media managers for making possible this contact with the 8 Comprehensive Defense Regions of our Bolivarian National Armed Force, where soldiers and officials are currently grouped taking this oath. I sworn before the Constitution as President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Commander-in-Chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Force, to fulfill and enforce the Constitution and all the legislation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Hence, firstly, I must say in this wonderful ceremony -as a humble citizen of this country, a people’s President, a worker President- thank you for your loyalty, discipline, devotion and sacrifice for the people, commitment to the Homeland. On April 19, 2013, right here in this square of Los Proceres, I was receiving this very same oath from the then Minister of Defense, Admiral Molero -whom I warmly greet-, following my swearing in ceremony as President of the Republic, assuming the banner of our Commander Chavez who had passed and started his path to immortality just six weeks ago. That day, I witnessed under heavy rain the oath of loyalty made by the Bolivarian National Armed Force to me – a young worker who assumed the presidency that April 19, 2013-; that is why, from my heart, I tell General-in-Chief Padrino, Admiral Ceballos, Commanders of Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Bolivarian National Militia, REDI Commanders, ZODI Commanders, ADI Commanders and heads of military units, that this young man who is in front of you, who has been President of the Republic for the 2013 – 2018 term, is sincerely grateful. Thank you for having met that oath, although having endured deserts, tests, guarimbas and attacks. Military brothers and sisters, we have experienced many things together. However, the Armed Force remains firm, united; fulfilling all its missions required by the Homeland and instructed by me as a Commander-in-Chief – economic, social and territorial missions- and without interrupting for a second its training, preparation, regular exercising, weapons system updating and elaboration of the warfare doctrine of the people to defend us from any imperialist threat. In this light, the Bolivarian National Armed Force has accomplished all its missions impeccably; therefore, it has the admiration and affection of the Venezuelan people, who additionally respects its Bolivarian National Armed Force. Some moments ago, I fulfilled the obligation of swearing in and assuming the direction of the Homeland again. Now, from my heart, I accept the sacred oath you have made, of loyalty, discipline and subordination to keep above all the indestructible union of Venezuela’s military forces before any circumstance that we must face this year or the years to come; a Bolivarian National Armed Force united, disciplined, cohesive and prepared. The parade we saw some minutes ago showed the brilliant, impeccable preparation and professionalism of the Armed Force new generations. We feel proud of the increasingly Venezuelan powerful military forces; therefore, I undertake my commitment to you for this new tenure, under the Homeland Plan 2019–2025. During the following six years, we have to increase the Venezuelan nation military power and the Bolivarian National Armed Force military capacity, its professionalism and scientific character. Also, we must keep a flawless updating of weapons system, suitable to the warfare doctrine of all people to defend national sovereignty. We must close ranks to undertake the mission of turning our Bolivarian National Armed Force into a military power serving the defense of national interests. Our Supreme Commander Chavez started a real military revolution in Venezuela regarding the military concept, doctrine, organization and deployment of forces, weapons system and morale; a profound ideological revolution of our Armed Force values. Commander Hugo Chavez sowed the unredeemed and independent spirit of our Liberator and Ezequiel Zamora’s values in the Bolivarian National Armed Force weapons. That is why the Armed Force is essentially a Zamoran anti-oligarch force. He [Chavez] taught the values of Negro Primero – the first sword of the people’s struggle. He made a deep revolution that cannot be stopped. Generals, Admirals and officers: it is the time to deepen the Venezuela’s military revolution which means putting the concept, doctrine, morale and weapons system in practice. In this light, each soldier must fulfill his duty and know what to do. Recently, the imperialist company ExxonMobil -under a geopolitical provocation strategy and with the Guyana’s government consent- made an illegal incursion in the Venezuelan jurisdictional sea to exploit the oil in the submarines blocks that belongs to our country. Fortunately, our sea soldiers are permanently patrolling, taking care of all the coasts and seas of Venezuela, so we are enabled to make appropriate decisions in real time. Immediately, Admiral Remigio Ceballos reported me the situation, so I ordered to apply all the protocols to take them out of the Venezuelan jurisdictional waters. It was done perfectly, as you all know. What would happen if our Navy were not guarding the Venezuela’s seas? Those illegal raiding vessels were sent by imperialism. I would like to reiterate my congratulations to the patrol vessel Kariña and all the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela for their professional performance, their operational capabilities and their revolutionary, Bolivarian and chavista spirit committed to the Homeland highest interests. This is a revolution in the military ranks. A military revolution that must go on and deepen towards future times; in this sense, I ordered the Venezuelan Military Staff, the Minister of Defense, and the Strategic Operational Commander to perform the first comprehensive civilian-military operations of national defense, paying tribute to the Congress of Angostura and its bicentennial, which will take place from February 10 – 15. All the Bolivarian National Armed Force must be deployed to defend the territory, united with the people in defense of our Homeland, in the first operations to pay tribute to Simon Bolivar and the Congress of Angostura. Let us prepare to continue improving each one of the Comprehensive Defense Regions (REDI by its acronym in Spanish); we have eight REDI ready to defend the country regions with all the military power to face any circumstance in the national territory. Comrades, military brothers and sisters, we also count on a Bolivarian National Militia that has been growing steadily. Last December 17th, the number of militia people increased to 1.6 million, a record number. Next April 13th, Day of the Bolivarian National Militia, it will increase to 2 million, nationwide. The Bolivarian National Militia have to be trained and deployed in order to support the professional forces, special forces, Army, Navy, Aviation and Bolivarian National Guard. This must be a strategy and operation of common and multidimensional character, for the country to become invincible, impregnable, as it must be. We have great tasks and missions in the future. The Liberator Simon Bolivar was a visionary as well as our commander Chavez. They did not remain stuck either in the past or in the present problems and difficult circumstances, but in the future. Our Liberator Simon Bolivar faced many difficulties: the loss of the First and the Second Republic; the treason that stabbed him in the back so many times. The treason. However, our Liberator never gave up; he never surrendered to adversities, defeats, difficulties; he was always a visionary; he always looked ahead. He used to work in the present looking at the future. Our Commander Chavez did the same; he was a great visionary; he foresaw the current struggle we are engaged. Bolivarian National Armed Force, I urge you to have a great foresight; to envision the development of the Venezuelan potency; to envision the development of the sovereign and independent Venezuela; to truly commit ourselves to the present oath, but especially to commit ourselves in oath to the future for our children and grandchildren. You have taken such a full oath before your Constitutional Commander-in-Chief and the people; therefore, I raise this sword The Liberator Simon Bolivar’s saber- and say to you, military people of our Homeland: I swear -as President of the Republic, as citizen, as worker, as Commander-in-Chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Force- that I will never fail you, that I will be at the service of the Homeland great causes, and that I count on you forever in the name of Bolivar and Chavez. Thank you Bolivarian National Armed Force! Now, let us say holding our Liberator’s sword: Independence and socialist Homeland! Long live Chavez! The Homeland goes on! The Sun in Venezuela rises in the Esequibo! Ever onward to victory! Thank you very much Bolivarian National Armed Force. Thank you. Congratulations and we also thank, as Bolivarian National Armed Force and as people, the presence of these 94 countries today. Thank you very much.