Venezuela holds military drills after USA threat

Bolivarian National Guards detain an anti-government demonstrator during clashes in Caracas Venezuela on July 28

US imposes new sanctions on Venezuela

The new sanctions would also put more sway on the view that Venezuela is under military threat by President Trump.

Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump said he did not exclude a military option in Venezuela.

Venezuela on Sunday held its second day of nationwide military drills with civilians after calling on citizens to join reserve units to defend against a possible attack by USA forces.

"The people and the FANB are defending territory and sovereignty", Maduro wrote on Twitter.

"Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defence of the nation", said an announcement broadcast on state television.

About two weeks ago, after some sanctions were imposed on high-ranking Venezuelan officials, President Trump said that a military option in Venezuela wasn't off the table for the country was a consolidated dictatorship.

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Venezuela has been wracked by months of political crisis. The event, attended by military officials from China, Belarus and Russian Federation, was a prelude to military exercises Maduro called for this weekend as a deterrent to any USA military intervention.

But tensions surged again when the White House made good on the sanctions threat on Friday, unveiling its first-ever such measures to target Venezuela as a whole, rather than just Maduro and his inner circle.

Washington's latest sanctions on Venezuela will not give the White House what it wants, according to the South American country's close ally China. It also prohibits negotiations with certain existing bonds belonging to Venezuela's public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government.

American lawmakers have called it a big problem for USA national security and sent a warning letter to President Donald Trump.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed Friday to prosecute for treason opponents he accused of being behind sweeping US financial sanctions that will strain relations between the countries and make it harder for the socialist leader to raise badly needed cash. "They ratify an imperial road of aggression". Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez inaugurated the exercises Saturday at a National Guard facility in eastern Caracas where dozens of snipers practiced their aim. Air force, infantry and naval exercises were expected later on Saturday and Sunday.

In a Caracas military academy, soldiers taught civilians how to use their fists, rifles, bazookas and anti-aircraft guns and supervised them on obstacle courses.

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