This weekend, the Venezuelan army forces are executing nation-wide military exercises to reject the sanctions and possible military attacks by the United States. This comes after President Donald Trump said they are considering the “military option” to solve the political, humanitarian, and economic crisis that the Latin-American country is going through under Nicolas Maduro’s regime.
The army forces are inviting civilians between 18 and 60 to join the reserve units to defend the nation from foreign threats. The government expects about 700,000 civilian militia members and 200,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen to participate in this weekend’s exercises. Tensions between the two countries continue to increase, especially after the new sanctions imposed by the united states on Venezuela last Friday, which prohibit new transaction with Venezuela’s oil companies.
“Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defense of the nation,” said an announcement broadcast on state television.
Maduro: ‘All they’re trying to do to attack Venezuela is crazy’
Ever since Maduro announced there would be a Constituent National Assembly, countries from around the world – especially from the Americas – raised their voices to reject such actions as they consider them to be unconstitutional and terrible for Venezuela’s – already weak – democracy and division of power. Moreover, the announcements of a new constitution were made during a difficult social and political environment that made millions of Venezuela go out and protest against Maduro’s government. However, the marches and the crisis escalated as the Election Day for the constituent assembly came closer. Finally, on July 30th the elections were made leaving more than 140 deaths over 4 months of protests. Most of the victims were young men under 25.
During all that time, the White House highlighted the need to stop the violence and to stop all the constituent madness for the sake of Venezuelans and continental order. Important organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations and the Organizations of American States expressed in several occasion their rejection towards a new constituent assembly and the incredible violence of the national forces against the protesters.
However, nothing stopped Maduro from letting the new assembly install as he considered this new body to be Venezuela’s only hope of restoring peace after months of protests.
Sanctions on Venezuela and anti-imperialist actions
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. This gave Maduro more elements to enrich his anti-imperialist speech saying that all the United States wanted was to invade Venezuela to control its important goods such as its oil reserves. He blamed the United States and other countries such as Colombia of partnering with Venezuelan opposition leaders and companies to create the so-called “economic war” against the people.
For that reason, they have called on the civilians to join the army forces to defeat the so-alleged foreign threats. Trump has already signed an order that prohibits Americans to deal new debt from the Venezuelan government. As well, they are not allowed to made new transactions with the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, as the administration deems that such businesses fuel Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. Those represent the biggest sanctions imposed by the White House on the Latin-American state. They attempt to punish the government, by preventing it from having the resources (from oil exports) to support the anti-democratic regime. 96 percent of Venezuelan’s incomes come from oil exports, and the oil industry is completely controlled by the state. Therefore, after all these sanctions it will certainly be tricky for PDVSA to refinance its heavy debt burden. About two-thirds of the holders of Venezuelan bonds are in the United States, according to Maduro. Currently, some might think that the bilateral relations are at their lowest point ever.
Maduro: ‘Venezuela will never surrender to any imperial power’
Maduro said Trumps want Venezuela to default, but that it won’t happen. Venezuela’s president said they will find new markets for the oil. However, it is important to note that Venezuela has already an enormous debt with China and Russia, which are the most powerful allies of the oil-rich country.
“They want us to fall into default,” said Maduro. “With the efforts of our people, it will fail and Venezuela will be stronger, freer, and more independent,” said Maduro on a TV broadcast on Friday.
This Saturday civilians across the Venezuelan territory were captured by the State’s national channels registering in the military reserves where they received a gun. However, there was scarce attendance and all of the participants were ardent supporters of Maduro’s Socialist Party. While this happens, Venezuelans continue to lack food and medicines and they continue to face a rampant insecurity. Though the images and statistical facts confirm this situation; current foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, said that news are being manipulated by the opposition and the big networks around the world to exaggerate the economic crisis in the country.