People line up at a bus stop in Caracas, on Jan 29, 2019 after the United States announced sanctions against Venezuela's state oil company. (LUIS ROBAYO / AFP)
CARACAS - Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on Monday that there are "no sanctions that will unnerve or fracture national dignity."
The minister said the Venezuelan military is underestimated by those who "have come with tricks by saying 'if you come out against the Constitution and the legitimate authorities, you will be exonerated' from those purported sanctions."
We've said we'll remain with the sanctions and the fatherland
Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Venezuelan Defense Minister
"We've said we'll remain with the sanctions and the fatherland," he added.
The minister made the remarks at the start of visits to collect signatures from military and civilian personnel in the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) against the sanctions and threats from the government of the United States.
Since last year, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela's government authorities and military.
The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday called for the collection of signatures to support the document known as "an open letter to the people of the United States."
The text mentioned the danger represented by the possibility that the White House orders military intervention against Venezuela.
"The enemies of the fatherland do not know the sentiment of resounding rejection" generated by the aggressions against the country, the minister said.
Padrino Lopez invited the FANB personnel to sign for Venezuela and for peace.
Venezuela has been living days of political tension since Jan 23 when opposition leader and National Assembly President Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and was recognized by the United States and some other countries.
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