Chávez: We have regained independence
Major General Vladimir Padrino López said at the beginning of the civic-military parade commemorating the 201st anniversary of Venezuelan independence that the armed forces are willing to defend the country's independence with their minds and their weapons
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías on Thursday said that "in the absence of our patriotic and Bolivarian Armed Forces, there would be no independence and nation." His comments came upon his arrival at the Los Próceres bulevard, where he is presiding over a civic-military parade to commemorate the 201st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Venezuela.
"Soldiers: We have regained independence. Thank God, our people and of course, thanks to our Armed Forces. In the absence of an aware, patriotic, strong and Bolivarian armed force there would be no independence or country. Therefore, as a soldier myself, I join you and say Long live national independence and the National Armed Forces!'" said Chávez.
The civic-military parade began with the national anthem and a minute of silence in tribute to those who gave their lives while in duty. Then, Major General Vladimir Padrino López asked permission to start the parade. He stated that the National Armed Forces are prepared to defend the country's independence with their minds and their weapons.
Padrino López said, "Our armed forces are atronger than ever in their morale, (...) equipment and humanist vision. They are inextricably united to the people and are willing to defend with their minds, weapons and lives, the only gift, the most valuable gift that the Bolivarian revolution has brought us under the auspices of the socialist fatherland under construction. Such a gift is nothing more and nothing else than the national independence. Independence or nothing!"
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."