Alwaght- The Venezuelan military is holding a massive military parade amid US threats that it could use military force to oust the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
President Madruo traveled to the central state of Miranda on Sunday to inspect the troops and military equipment stationed there and attend the opening ceremony of the maneuvers, which will be held across the country and will last until February 15.
"The exercises for the 200 year anniversary of Angostura have started, the speech of Simon Bolivar where he established the doctrine for the independence, for the Republic, for the future," Maduro said
Along with Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López and the Operational Commander Remigio Ceballos, Maduro supervised the anti-aerial defense system IGLA-S y ZU-23 and reviewed the Bolivarian National Militia.
"Here there are the Armed Forces, and here are the people ready to defend the honor, the dignity and the decorum of a Homeland that has been fighting for its future over 200 years. Back off Donald Trump and his threats!" he added.
The exercises will take place until Feb. 15 in order to try the operational capacity of the armed forces along with the organized people, especially in relation to command, control, communication and planning, as well as the capacity of deployment of the Armed Forces, explained the head of the Strategic Operational Commandment of the armed forces Remigio Ceballos.
The maneuvers come amid a political crisis, which saw the US-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaido, abruptly declare himself “interim president” last month.
The administration of US President Donald Trump hastily declared support for Guaido, announced sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and said sending military forces to the country was “an option” to push for the Maduro government’s ouster.
Guaido and the US have also been encouraging members of the Venezuelan armed forces to abandon the legitimate government and join the opposition camp, which has also the support of Washington’s European and Latin American allies.
Last week, Maduro told Russia’s RT that the military was prepared to ensure that Washington will pay “entirely too much” for any military invasion against the “sacred homeland.”
“I don’t believe in war, violence or military threats,” he said. “Whatever they want, there will be peace in Venezuela.”
Maduro’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also told Iran’s Spanish-language HispanTV that his country was prepared for any possible scenario.