Venezuela holds military drills amid hemispheric hostility

Li Jiayao

CARACAS, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela is holding military defense drills this weekend motivated by a "deeply hostile" environment generated by a "world power to the north of the continent imposing sanctions against it," according to political observer Luis Quintana.

The drills are justified by the fact that the "United States is threatening military intervention, and financing and organizing the Venezuelan opposition against the ruling socialist party (PSUV)," said Quintana, a professor of international geopolitics with the Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela.

The United States has "very close allies" in some regional countries that are very like-minded," said Quintana.

He also noted that Washington is also trying to prevent Venezuela from being able to "renegotiate its debt," and "imposes illegal unilateral sanctions on high-level officials."

The observer said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's notion of "civic-military" drills is unique to the country.

The concept entails "the participation of the people, of social and civic organizations, in the strategic and tactical operations proposed by the armed forces," he explained.

Earlier this week, Venezuelan Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez told reporters that 1 million people will be taking part in the drills.

"Venezuela is facing a direct and frontal imperial ambush that is historically unprecedented. That is why, once again, all patriots, in perfect civic-military union, will join the exercise," Padrino said.


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