[Ed. – Pretty much.]
The Venezuelan government’s decision to arm civilians to defend the country’s socialist revolution amid growing unrest is rekindling fears of terrorists and criminal organizations acquiring part of the nation’s arsenal, which include a large stockpile of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles.
Experts and U.S. policy makers are concerned about the risk that some of these missiles — as well as thousands of modern assault rifles and banned anti-personnel mines — might fall in the hands of criminal groups under President Nicolás Maduro’s regime, with its rampant corruption, its lack of internal controls and the country’s rapidly deteriorating conditions.
“Maduro is a dictator with close ties to terror-sponsoring regimes, and is now promising a ‘gun for every militiaman’ as his thugs counter the Venezuelan people’s peaceful pro-democracy protests with violence and lethal force,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said. …
Though the militias are being armed with rifles, not land-to-air missiles, experts worry that the military gear could make its way to civilians eventually.
Caracas’ possession of the portable, infrared-homing Igla-S has been a source of concern in the U.S. for some time, given the socialist regime’s cozy relationship with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, groups classified as terrorist organizations by the U.S.