Snipers of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces are seen during military exercises in Caracas, Venezuela, August 26, 2017. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
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Venezuela kicked off two days of military drills on Saturday in response to US President Donald Trump's threat of military action and newly announced sanctions on the crisis-stricken nation.War planes, tanks and 200,000 troops of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) deployed along with 700,000 reserves and civil militia members as the exercises were formally launched by socialist President Nicolas Maduro.Trump's threat of military force meanwhile has bolstered Maduro's oft-repeated claim that Washington is plotting to topple him and wants to grab control of Venezuela's oil -- the largest proven reserves in the world.Venezuela's center right-led opposition and international powers including Washington say Maduro is turning Venezuela into a dictatorship.On Thursday, the president warned the armed forces not to break ranks.
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