Venezuela's National Armed Forces (FANB) Friday started the 2021 "Bolivarian Shield" Exercise in honor of the eighth anniversary of the death of former President Hugo Chavez.
Legacy of Hugo Chavez a Force in Venezuela and Latin America
The soldiers' deployment throughout the country began at 6:00 am local time and it will last until Sunday, March 7.
"The military maneuvers will show to the world that the FANB is ready to confront any threats against our sovereignty and territorial integrity," President Nicolas Maduro said and informed that the national police will also take part in the operation.
Over the weekend, the FANB Strategic Operational Command (Ceofanb) "will be deployed in every territory to combat any attempt of violent activity," the Command leader Remigio Ceballos tweeted.
The Bolivarian Shield Exercise "will evidence the unity of the FANB and the Venezuelan people," he added.
On February 25, the president informed the military activities would begin on the day Venezuela remembers Commander Chavez's death, which occurred in Caracas on March 5, 2013.
"Amid the pain, I could hold his hand in his last seconds of life. I asked him to always enlighten us to complete his work of hope and equality. Today, he is guiding our steps," Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted.