Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced he will conduct military drills later this month in response to threats of potential intervention by President Donald Trump.
Trump said last week that he would consider military intervention in the country, where widespread protests have left at least 120 Venezuelans dead since April. The Trump administration also imposed sanctions on Venezuela and called Maduro a dictator.
On Monday, thousands turned out for pro-government rallies across Venezuela. Maduro used Trump's comments to galvanize his people, saying they were one of the greatest challenges in the country's history.
Maduro said: "Let's prepare ourselves to defend the peace with tanks, planes and guns."
And while visiting Latin America, Vice President Mike Pence said Monday: "The United States, Colombia, and free nations of Latin America will not be silent."
Trump's comment follows a controversial election that gave Maduro control over a new governing body that has the power to rewrite the constitution. The opposition boycotted that election, and a company that provided voting machines said it recorded over a million fraudulent votes.
Venezuela's nationwide military drills are expected to take place Aug. 26 and 27.