The armed forces of Venezuela began major “anti-imperialist” military exercises on Friday, aiming to prepare the country to defend itself in case of invasion.
The drills were held across the South American state on land, sea and air, bringing together more than 76,000 soldiers and almost half a million civilians. They included practicing urban defense and the protection of coastal oil refineries.
According to Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the exercise has international-grade weaponry and broad popular support from social movements. On Saturday, thousands of citizens marched through Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, to show their support for the nationwide action, overseen by President Nicolas Maduro.
The socialist government of Venezuela has been accusing US of attempting to overthrow it.
"From here we are alerting the American imperialists that we are a threat because we want peace, we're socialists, we're revolutionary and we're Chavistas," member of the National Assembly of Venezuela Diosdado Cabello told troops gathered at a military base in Caracas, as cited by the Hour. "You, Obama, with your Nobel Peace Prize, have taken war to every corner of the Earth."