14:16 GMT +321 September 2019
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    In this handout photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, accompanied by Defense Minister Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez, left, and the Strategies Operations Commander, Adm. Remigio Ceballos, arrive for a meeting with the troops at Fort Tiuna in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 2, 2019

    Maduro Convenes Defence Council Amid Alleged Colombia Threat

    © AP Photo / Miraflores Press Office / Jhonn Zerpa
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on the country’s National Defence Council to make decisions with regard to alleged threats from Colombia, an announcement which comes as Venezuela is starting large-scale military drills near the Colombian border.

    "I have decided to convene, in accordance with article 323, the Defence Council to address the issue of the warlike threat of the Government of Colombia against our beloved homeland of Venezuela," Maduro said in a televised address on Monday.

    Last week, the Venezuelan leader announced that large-scale military exercises would be held near the Colombian border on September 10-28.

    According to Maduro, Venezuela was deploying air defence systems at its border with Colombia for the period of holding the drills.

    In August, Venezuelan Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez, while speaking on state television, suggested that Venezuela had proof that neighboring Colombia harbours paramilitary training campswhere groups are plotting attacks against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    Relations between Venezuela and Colombia have been strained amid Maduro’s struggle with the opposition, which tried to overthrow the Venezuelan leader in January.

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    drills, council, defence, threat, Colombia, Venezuela
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