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Venezuelan forces massing near the Colombia border for maneuvers

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Hundreds of Venezuelan Special Forces and Special Forces soldiers, armored vehicles and missiles transported forces gathered near the Colombia border Thursday for maneuvers ordered by Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

On January 9th, the Venezuelan President ordered these exercises, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, in a number of locations in Venezuela, especially in the postponement of the state in western Venezuela, on the border with Colombia.

Maduro said at the time that these exercises aimed to prepare the participants in “to defend the cities”, enumerating five of the country’s largest cities, namely the capital, Caracas, Maracay, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Maracaibo.

He called on his forces to be “ready” to sleep in order to “destroy the teeth of imperialism” if his country was exposed to external aggression, in reference to the United States.

In January, US President Donald Trump announced that Maduro had lost legitimacy after elections marred by widespread criticism, and the United States, most of the West and Latin America had recognized the Speaker of Parliament and opposition leader Juan Guaido as transitional president.

However, Washington did not succeed after a year of tightening the pressure on Caracas in overthrowing Maduro, who enjoys internal support from the army and externally with the support of several countries, especially Russia and China, despite the economic collapse that his country suffers from.

The senior official of the Socialist Party of Venezuela, Freddy Bernal, who leads the preparations for the maneuvers in Lavaria near the Colombian border, called on the participants to “prepare for the lasting and insolent threat” of President Trump.

But he denied that Venezuela wanted a war with the United States. He said, “Seeking to confront a force of this magnitude would be madness and suicide.” “What do we always ask the United States? Respect,” he added.

The Venezuelan army has about 360,000 soldiers, but Maduro asserts that the civilian militia loyal to him includes 3.7 million people, or more than 10% of the country’s population.

From 10 to 28 September, army and civilian militia units participated in military exercises along the border with Colombia.

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