CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s National Armed Forces started carrying out military exercises this Sunday to demonstrate that they can protect the country from invasion.
The military exercises will be held until February 15, being the largest and most important exercises of the type already carried out in 200 years of history, according to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
The exercises are intended to demonstrate that the South American country is not “inaccessible” to statements by US President Donald Trump that military intervention in Venezuela is an “option.”
Political tension in Venezuela has increased since opposition leader Juan Guaidó in the country proclaimed himself acting president. It was supported by the government of the United States and also by Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, among other countries.
Nicolás Maduro, re-elected in 2018, is considered the legitimate president of Venezuela by countries like Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Uruguay and China.
This comes as Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo spent a few days this week in Washington and New York to get the details of President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to the United States due in mid-March, still undefined.
Bolsonaro’s agenda should bring together economic and trade issues, according to the minister. Araújo also wants US parliamentarians to visit Brazil to get to know the national reality and discuss issues of mutual interest.
Augusto Cattoni, a political scientist and researcher at the Instituto Atlântico, believes that the main topic of the meeting will be the crisis that Venezuela is going through.
“Certainly Venezuela will have a certain priority due to the speed that an outcome of the crisis Venezuela is approaching us, that everyone already knows what this outcome will be, but does not know how it will happen and certainly a coordination of Brazil with the United States would be very welcome at that time,” he said.
During the visit to Washington, Araújo spoke with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu about the possible transfer of the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Cattoni believes that this will be a topic discussed in a meeting, but it is not a priority for the Bolsonaro government at this time.