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Venezuela celebrates 201st anniversary of independence

CCTV.com

07-06-2012 11:03 BJT

The day after the United States has been celebrating its independence day, another country in the Americas has been doing the same. It is 201 years since Venezuela first declared its independence from Spain.

Image provided by Venezuela's Presidency shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves upon his
arrival to a civic-military parade during the commemorative ceremony of Venezuela's
Independence Day at the National Assembly in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on July 5, 2012.
(Xinhua/Venezuela's Presidency)

A show of strength from the Venezuelan military, on Venezuela’s Independence Day.

In recent years these parades have been getting ever bigger, as this country increases its military spending.

Overseeing the proceedings was Commander-in-Chief – and President – Hugo Chavez.

Last year his cancer kept him away from the parade. This year he said he recovered.

Under one of the President's initiatives, this oil rich power has begun developing its own military industry, including the manufacture of Kalashnikov rifles.

Chavez says all this investment is good for the Venezuelan economy, and good for the country's defense.

These are our exclusive pictures of one of three Venezuelan drones – which the government says were developed with Iranian assistance.  They were on public view for the first time at the parade.

Reporter: “Critics of President Chavez say this is alarming - and reflects what they see as a growing militarization of the country.  But the government says all this is for defense, and nothing more.”

General Vladimir Padrino Lopez said, “The concept of renewing our military equipment does not signify aggression, or a threat. It is strategically and politically defensive.”

201 years ago Venezuela first declared its independence from its then colonial master, Spain.  President Chavez says this is about protecting that independence. And no-one, he says, has anything to fear.

Image provided by Venezuela's Presidency shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaking with
a citizen during his arrival to the commemorative ceremony of Venezuela's Independence Day at
the National Assembly in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on July 5, 2012. (Xinhua/Venezuela's
Presidency)

 

 

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