Over 115,000 soldiers and citizens participated in the nationwide military exercise, according to authorities.
After Barack Obama renewed the decree branding Venezuela a “national security threat” the day prior, Venezuela answered the outgoing U.S. president with a rally to “Defend the Homeland” on Saturday in a march that attracted the socialist faithful.
In total, over 115,000 soldiers and citizens participated in the nationwide military exercise, called the Integral Anti-Imperialist Action Zamora 200.
Diosdado Cabello, leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV, was present at the Military Academy in Fuerte Tiuna, Caracas, where he addressed the crowd of about 28,000 citizens and members of the Armed Forces. On stage, he also issued a message to Obama. “You are leaving, and here continues the revolution,” he said.
The government said the anti-imperialist march served to fortify the country’s defenses, through its military and citizenry.
Erickson Jesus, 20, is joined by his family at the military exercise.
This week, Obama angered Caracas by renewing a decree that regards Venezuela as “a threat” to the United States. Cabello said sarcastically, “Venezuela is a threat for wanting peace and defending the revolution.”
One of the soldiers at the action, 20-year-old Erickson Jesus, spoke to teleSUR about the significance of the military and civilian exercise.
“The movement was to let everyone know that citizens of Venezuela are protected by the FANB (Bolivarian National Armed Forces),” Jesus said. “I became a soldier because I wanted to support my country.”
The five-month inductee said that, as a soldier, all he and his compatriots wish for is peace. He added that they’re all working toward a Venezuela that is ripe with opportunity, safe, and that sees poverty levels fall.
Authorities hope the Anti-Imperialist Integral Action Exercise Zamora 200 will improve synchronization between the Armed Forces and the country’s citizens. Commander General of the Venezuelan Navy Admiral Orlando Maneiro said an alert populace improves army efficiency.