The National Bolivarian Armed Forces staged the a nationwide military exercise today, called Escudo Bolivariano 2020 (Bolivarian Shield 2020). The exercises are supposed to increase the armed forces’ readiness against invasion.
Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez kicked off the day’s drill on Twitter, saying:
With #BolivarianShield2020 we are deployed in every ship, every border checkpoint, every airspace, every city, every street; determined because of our love for the Homeland [sic]. Let’s go, soldiers, militia, and citizens! We will be victorious!
In the image below, Padrino Lopez inspects a tank in Caracas:
The video below shows National Guard soldiers and an anti-aircraft missile system taking part in today’s activities:
The exercise involved the Milicia Nacional Bolivariana (National Bolivarian Militia), which was created by Chavez in 2009. Below, images of militia taking part in today’s drills:
Because the militia tends to be comprised of individuals who are not fit for active military duty–either due to age or physical fitness–their activities are often the subject of ridicule online. The video below is one such example, showing an individual struggling to get through a militia training course:
Militia parading in Caracas earlier this morning:
The Venezuelan government claims that 2.4 million militia members took part in today’s drills.
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