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|CARACAS Brett Ritchie Youth Jersey , Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Supporters of Venezuela's socialist government on Monday rallied in the capital Caracas and other cities to protest the threat of a military intervention by the United States.
At the same time, in neighboring Colombia, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence underscored his country's opposition to the Venezuelan government by meeting with disaffected Venezuelans who have fled across the border.
At a rally in the western state of Portuguesa, Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami rejected Washington's position and called on Pence to leave the region.
"We say to him: Mike Pence, get out of Latin America!" El Aissami told the crowd.
"Instead of attempting to give us lessons on democracy Esa Lindell Youth Jersey , Mr. Vice President Pence, solve the major problems that are cropping up in the United States," added El Aissami.
Over the weekend, white supremacist groups in the southern U.S. city of Charlottesville, clashed with counter protesters Tyler Pitlick Youth Jersey , leaving at least one person dead and scores injured.
Pence on Sunday embarked on a Latin America tour to drum up support in the region for a tougher stance against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Washington has slapped economic sanctions against Maduro and his closest aides, but last week U.S. President Donald Trump raised the possibility of invading the South American country, saying he did not rule out a "military option" to oust the ruling PSUV from power.
Pence, accompanied by his wife and top Colombian officials, met with Venezuelan refugees in Cartagena Devin Shore Youth Jersey , and pledged his government's support should the situation worsen.
Thousands of refugees are arriving in Colombia every day, and the United States will be there to help the country if there is a crisis, said Pence.
According to Pence, the U.S. "will not stand by while Venezuela collapses into dictatorship. A failed state in Venezuela threatens the security and prosperity of our entire hemisphere and the people of the United States."
However, even Latin American countries closely allied with Washington have rejected invading Venezuela as an option.
At a joint press conference in Cartagena late Sunday Mattias Janmark Youth Jersey , Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos rejected using military force, and called for a negotiated solution.
Not taking any chances, Maduro on Monday called for a civic-military drill to take place from Aug. 26 to 27.
"I have instructed the Chief of Staff of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) to begin the preparations for a national civic-military drill of armed comprehensive defense," Maduro told supporters at the rally in Caracas on Monday.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez called on Venezuelan society and the international community to close ranks in the face of a possible military intervention.
"We call on men and women Radek Faksa Youth Jersey , national and foreign, who love this land, to put aside their differences and unite as brothers, to confront this unfortunate threat," Padrino said in a statement.
Padrino also called on the right-wing opposition to take a stand in regard to the U.S. threat of a military option John Klingberg Youth Jersey , saying: "It's no time for ambiguities, ones is either a patriot or pro Yankee."
The defense minister was accompanied by the commanders of the army, navy and air force, as well as the National Guard and People's Militia.
Pence's Latin America tour next takes him to Argentina, Chile and Panama.
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High winds gusting across the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon forced organizers to call off the second day of the 2016 Olympic rowing regatta on Sunday. The decision followed a day of difficult conditions on the opening program on Saturday, with some rowers complaining that the races should have been postponed then. One boat -capsized and several others were nearly swamped.
Winds blowing through the mountains overlooking the lagoon again whipped up the waters on Sunday and by mid-morning, white waves were rippling across the water and palm trees on the shore were bending.
"Racing is postponed and will not take place today due to technical installation difficulties caused by the strong winds and the forecast for the afternoon which indicates adverse weather conditions," an official communique said after the start of the schedule was twice put back an hour.
The International Rowing Federation (FISA) said the rough weather had affected the buoy system which marks the course.
British team leader David Tanner said he absolutely supported the decision. "We definitely Tyler Seguin Youth Jersey , definitely shouldn't be racing in these conditions. Well done, FISA," he said.
FISA had rejected criticism of its decision to go ahead with Saturday's races, saying the conditions were the same for all the rowers. Sunday's postponement is likely to throw the tight schedule into disarray and the weather is expected to worsen over Monday and Tuesday, when more races are scheduled.
South African rower Kate Christowitz said officials were correct to call off the races.
"It's organized chaos and they've made the right decision. We'll be back tomorrow Jamie Benn Youth Jersey ," she told Reuters.
Safety should come first, she said. "You can't do anything about it. You just have to laugh it off."
Britain's Tanner said the winds were blowing right across the course during practice. "It was lifting boats onto the waves and some were on the buoys," he said.
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