It is very expensive to deploy troops and to engage in “maneuvers.” Venezuela has no money. This is not a game.
“We’re warriors of peace,” Maduro said on state television from a stadium in coastal Vargas state, where he watched the distribution of uniforms to hundreds of militia members before he sang and clapped his hands as a crowd cheered. “Our armed forces are anti-colonial, anti-imperial.”
The opposition, which blames the 53-year-old Maduro for widespread shortages of food and basic necessities, criticized the maneuvers.
“How much are these exercises costing the country?” opposition governor and two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles wrote on his Twitter account. “The soldiers are themselves suffering from the economic crisis. While there is a rich and privileged military leadership, the troops are fighting, without food and medicine, and with a salary that isn’t sufficient.”