Venezuela’s to hold military drills in border regions amid tensions with Colombia

The Venezuelan military will begin a two-week series of exercises today along the Colombian border. Tensions between the two neighbours

venezuela military exercises

Photo: Miraflores Palace via Reuters

The Venezuelan military will begin a two-week series of exercises today along the Colombian border.

Tensions between the two neighbours spiked after leadership within the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) issued a new call to arms just three years after the group struck a peace accord with the government. Colombian President Ivan Duque accused Caracas of harbouring the leftist guerrillas. Citing a possible Colombian attack over the matter, which Bogota has repeatedly denied, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the border exercises

Though the rhetoric is bellicose, the exercises are not infrequent– these are the third such drills this year. The Maduro regime is likely posturing and attempting to show that it still has support from and control over the country’s military, a key source of power.

The question of how long the military will remain loyal to Maduro remains. The embattled president has already survived months of the US’ “maximum pressure” campaign of diplomatic isolation and draconian economic sanctions. As long as support from Russia and China remains, which it likely will for the foreseeable future, Maduro can maintain the immense systems of patronage and intelligence networks that allow him to maintain a grip over the Venezuelan military, ultimately giving him the upper hand over the country’s opposition.

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