It is a show of strength of Venezuela. Nearly 150,000 men, almost half of the army, were deployed on Tuesday, September 10, by Caracas on its border with Colombia.
Tanks, armored vehicles armed with missiles and dozens of soldiers from the Bolivian National Armed Forces (FANB) were seen at La Fria Airport in Tashira State, in the west of the country.
"The Bolivarian National Armed Forces is a peacekeeping force ... We respect the armed forces of the entire planet, but we are not afraid of anyone," Admiral Remigio Ceballos, Venezuela's strategic operational commander, told reporters. by launching the exercises.
This border region of Colombia was placed last week in "orange alert" by the socialist president after he denounced the "maneuvers" of his counterpart Ivan Duque to "trigger an armed conflict" with Venezuela.
Do not give in to provocation
For his part, the Colombian president said he did not yield to "provocation" and rejected the hypothesis of a military intervention against his neighbor. "We call all Colombians to serenity, knowing that we have a sufficiently equipped and capable public force, there is no need to react to this threat because it would be foolish to think that it can be real" said Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez to reporters.
"We must not, however, let our guard down, we know since (the late President Hugo) Chavez and now with (Nicolas) Maduro, Colombian terrorism, international, was fed in Venezuela, from the hand of narco-trafficking", she added.
These exercises, which will take place along the 2,200 km border, will last until September 28 and mobilize 150,000 of the more than 365,000 soldiers in Venezuela.
Nicolas Maduro regularly attacks his Colombian counterpart, whom he describes as a "deputy president", and claims that he foments "terrorist" acts in an attempt to overthrow him. Last week he accused him of using "unfounded accusations to attack Venezuela".
Ivan Duque accuses Nicolas Maduro of offering refuge and support to dissidents of the FARC, who have been on the sidelines of the peace agreement of 2016 and announced the resumption of the armed struggle. Charges that Caracas denies.
The Colombian president recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president, as do some fifty other countries, including the United States.