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Maduro kicks off Venezuela’s ‘most important military drills in history’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has launched what he described as the ‘most important’ drills in history, preparing to repel any potential invasion after the US and its allies backed self-proclaimed ‘interim president’ Guaido.

The drills will last until February 15 and are set to become the largest military exercises the country has held in its 200-year history, President Maduro reiterated, as he arrived at Guaicaipuro Fort in Miranda State.

“We must prepare to defend [Venezuela's] sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence,” the elected head of state proclaimed, apparently fearing that Washington’s calls for a regime change and its aggressive backing of opposition parliament speaker Juan Guaido might escalate into a direct military invasion.

Guaido, who proclaimed himself ‘interim president’ of Venezuela in January and got the immediate blessing of the United States and its allies in Europe and across Latin America, did not rule out that he might have to make a “controversial” decision to authorize a “humanitarian” intervention. The Trump administration also said all options remain on the table to rid Venezuelans of the “oppressive dictator” Maduro.

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