Venezuela plans drill during U.S. exercises.
While U.S. warships hold exercises in the Caribbean, Venezuela will conduct its own maneuvers with thousands of troops practicing to defend the country’s coastline, a top navy official said Tuesday.
Vice Adm. Armando Laguna said 10,000 active service troops and 3,500 civilians and reservists will participate in the war games that are to start next week and eventually involve F-16 planes, ships and helicopters.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of Washington, has said the country must be prepared to face a possible U.S. invasion, and has accused the U.S. military of trying to threaten Venezuela with naval exercises it is holding in the Caribbean this month.
“We also have the capacity to show our teeth. Venezuelans’ teeth are harder,” Laguna said.
The U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier and other ships and planes to the Caribbean for the exercises.
U.S. officials have repeatedly denied Chavez’s warnings about a U.S. invasion, but they have accused him of being a threat to regional stability.
[Source: Associated Press, Caracas, Ven, 26apr06]
DDHH en Venezuela
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