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President Maduro initiates 5-day military drill in Venezuela

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday (local time) initiated a 5-day military drill, lasting until February 15, calling it to be the 'most important' exercise in the 200 years of history of the South American nation.

The Russian Times reported that President Maduro had launched the drill to "prepare to defend sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence" of Venezuela from any foreign intervention, especially after alleging Opposition leader Juan Guaido to be acting upon the orders passed by Washington.

"Today the most important military exercises in the history of Venezuela have been successfully launched throughout the country in the midst of the situation in which we live we have been threatened by the empire!" the Presidential Press of Venezuela said on Twitter.

"These are the most important military exercises in history because we are moving thousands of men and women and testing the entire defence system of our country," President Maduro said.

"I call all the people of Venezuela: Women, youth, men, to join this comprehensive plan of defence of sovereignty, to love the country and defend the right to peace," Maduro added.

Meanwhile, Guaido has refused to completely eliminate the possibility of authorising the US for a military intervention to oust President Maduro.

On January 23, Guaido proclaimed himself to be the President of Venezuela, amid cheering protesters who supported Maduro's ouster.

The United States immediately lent their support to Guaido, recognising him as the official interim President, a move which has since been backed by several Latin American and European countries.

However, countries like China, Russia, Turkey, amongst others, have slammed foreign intervention in Caracas' internal affairs while supporting Maduro's leadership.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 06:37 IST