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Cuba readies nationwide military exercise

Cuba announced plans for its biggest military exercise in four years, summoning armed forces and civilians to defend the Communist nation from invasion.



Havana: Cuba announced plans for its biggest military exercise in four years, summoning armed forces and civilians to defend the Communist nation from invasion.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces will be leading the way in the exercises dubbed Bastion-2013 from tomorrow through Friday, state media reported.

The training, including tactical exercises and maneuvers will include the armed forces and "the greatest possible number of regular troops, reserve members and the general public," Rebel Youth newspaper reported.

Troops are receiving the training "in case it should become necessary to wage the entire people`s war," referring to the doctrine that calls for the Armed Forces to team up with civilians in a ferocious and sustained resistance plan.

The strategy has been in place since 1980, when it was launched by ex-president Fidel Castro, now 87, under his brother Raul Castro.

Longtime defense chief Raul Castro, 82, has replaced his brother at Cuba`s helm.

The Castros regularly rally the people to defend this island of 11 million from their government`s traditional foe, the United States, which lies just 145 kilometres away.

Cubans are often reminded by officials that the United States has occupied Cuba twice, from 1898-1902 and from 1906-1909. It also intervened militarily in Cuba from 1917-1922.

And Washington refuses to leave the US naval base in Cuba`s southeastern province of Guantanamo, though Havana has asked it to do so for decades.

From Zee News

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