PRIORITIES

Venezuela Takes Jab at U.S. With Nationwide Military Drills

Venezuela’s military began staging nationwide drills on Saturday following U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat of a “military option” to deal with the crisis-stricken country. Trump made the comments earlier this month before signing an order restricting the country’s access to the U.S. financial system on Friday in a bid to hinder financing for President Nicolas Maduro’s “dictatorship.” The move was met by a show of force in Maduro’s government, with state-controlled media announcing Saturday that 700,000 civilian militia members and 200,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen are expected to participate in air force, infantry and naval exercises over the weekend. An announcement broadcast on state media also urged ordinary citizens to take part, according to Reuters. “Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defense of the nation,” the announcement said.