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  • Civilians practice combat tactics for the defense of their homeland, Feb. 15, 2020.

    Civilians practice combat tactics for the defense of their homeland, Feb. 15, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Bauxilum_CVG

Published 15 February 2020

More than 2.3 million Venezuelans are participating in military exercises to protect their homeland.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Saturday inaugurated the 2020 Bolivarian Shield, a defensive military exercise that is carried out amid U.S. threats and sanctions.

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"We start the 2020 Bolivarian Shield Exercise with the deployment of our glorious Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), which maintains a military-civic union with more than 2,300,000 mobilized combatants," Maduro said.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez confirmed that the Army has been deployed throughout the country for the realization of the new military exercises

"We are deployed on every ship, border post, city, and street. Our determination is born from our love to defend the homeland. Let's go soldiers, let's go militia, let's go people! We will win!" he said​​​​​​.

We are a rebellious, conscious and brave people committed with the liberators' historical struggles. We are always standing and in permanent struggle. Despite all the imperial aggressions, Venezuelans do not give up, nor will we ever give up. We always overcome!

The Venezuelan president indicated that this year's military exercises will have an extraordinary character because all FANB forces and weapon systems will be deployed on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

It was also reported that special military maneuvers will be carried out in cities such as Caracas, Maracay, Valencia, Barquisimeto, and Maracaibo, which means that the 2020 Bolivarian Shield will cover the north, south, center, east and west of the country.

Maduro reported that the military exercises will not only serve to prepare for possible attacks by the U.S. or Colombia but also to respond to the mafias smuggling fuel into neighboring countries.​​​​​​​

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