Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa
Ministry of the Popular Power for the Defense

The Ministry of defence is the highest administrative body in comprehensive defence of the nation, responsible for the formulation, adoption, monitoring and evaluation of policies, strategies, plans, programs and projects of the defence Sector, which exerts its rectory in accordance with provisions in the Decree, range, value and force of the organic law of the public administration; and its internal structure will be established in this regulation.Vision"The The vision of the Ministry of Defense is to be a modern organization, human capital, essentially professional with high sense of belonging, contributing effectively to the Bolivarian national armed forces in the process of consolidation of comprehensive national defense and security and the receipt of the territoriality of the Venezuelan State."

The first institution in the country with a purpose similar to the of the Ministry of Defense was the Secretary of war and Navy, established April 25, 1810. Between 1813 and 1863 several times the Secretariat of War and Navy was individualized by service, becoming then Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy, Secretary or Minister of State in the Office of War and Navy Marshal Juan Crisóstomo Falcón, President of the Republic, separates the two lines of Defense, setting date 29 July 1863 the Ministry of the Navy. For eleven years the ministries had separately, their respective Ministers until by decree issued by the Congress of the United States of Venezuela dated 01 July 1874, took up the merger of branches of defense under the figure of Ministry of War and Navy. Seventy-one years passed with it identified as Ministry of national defence according to Decree No. 348 of the revolutionary Governing Council of June 22, 1945 and six years later, on January 15, 1951, cut to the Defense Ministry, keeping this name until January 2007, according to official Gazette Extraordinary No. 5.836 on January 8 that it came to be called Ministry of the Popular Power for the Defense.

According to Article 190 of the constitution of 1961, the president serves as commander in chief of the National Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales--FAN). The day-to-day administration of the FAN, however, falls to the minister of national defense, traditionally a senior general officer. Other officials with responsibilities for the entire FAN were the FAN's inspector general and comptroller general.

The National Security and Defense Council, established in the 1970s, functioned as a planning and advisory body for the president on military and security matters. Its membership included the minister of national defense, the minister of interior, the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of finance, the inspector general of the FAN, the chief of the joint general staff of the FAN, and other ministers designated by the president. The council recommended policy to the president, prepared measures for its implementation, drafted mobilization and demobilization orders, and coordinated the defense efforts of national, state, and local authorities. The president appointed a permanent secretary of the council, who administered a political committee, an economic committee, a social committee, a military committee, a mobilization committee, and other committees that might be created by the president. The National Intelligence Service was a functional department of the council.

The military chain of command extended downward from the president to the minister of national defense to the commanders of the individual services. The Superior Board of the FAN was a purely military organization that advised the president, the National Security and Defense Council, and the Ministry of National Defense on security and defense matters. The board consisted of the minister of national defense, the inspector general, the chief of the Joint General Staff, and the service commanders. The chief of the Joint General Staff acted as the secretary of the board. The approval of the board was required for major weapons acquisitions.

The Joint General Staff of the FAN did not exercise operational control over the services. It functioned as an advisory body and as the planning organ of the National Defense Ministry under the direction of the minister of national defense and the Superior Board. The Joint General Staff prepared strategic planning, logistics, intelligence, training, and educational policies and plans for the entire FAN. It did not have budget authority, however; each branch of service handled its own budget planning.

The assets of the FAN were assigned and deployed in five geographically defined military regions, which functioned as unified commands. Most of the forces were deployed in Military Region One, headquartered in Caracas. Military Regions Two, Three, Four, and Five were headquartered in San Cristóbal, Maracaibo, San Fernando, and Ciudad Bolívar, respectively. All air and naval assets were located in either region one or region two (San Cristóbal).

The building of the Ministry of war and Navy in the side corner of Bolero to the Miraflores Palace today, since 1929 until 1950.The headquarters of the Ministry from March 26, 1950 until May 15, 1981, was the building built in 1903 with destination to the former military Academy, located in the plain of Cajigal, today parish January 23, which became the military historical Museum and by Presidential Decree of October 10, 2002it becomes the Headquarters on February 4. For 40 years he occupied the facilities of the plain, but in view of the dynamic development of the armed forces, the expansion of the various services and the need for a modern and functional headquarters, was built in the areas of the Fort Tiuna, located in El Valle, Mexico City. Work of the architect Julián Ferris and Carlos Pons.

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