After United States President Donald Trump threatened a potential military intervention in Venezuela, the country's leader Nicolas Maduro on Monday called for military drills. Maduro, however, voiced his optimism that Trump will opt for dialogue.

Possible US intervention

Speaking to his supporters in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, Maduro told the country's populace to prepare for a possible American invasion. However, United States Vice President Mike Pence has sought to calm nerves, saying that the Trump administration was working towards a peaceful resolution to Venezuela's slide into a dictatorial regime.

Maduro is growing increasingly unpopular in Venezuela due to a struggling economy and the country's increased isolation by allies abroad. After Trump's comments on Friday, Maduro jumped at the opportunity to strengthen his long-standing claims that the United States is looking for an opportunity to attack his country. Maduro has long accused Washington of sowing anarchy in Venezuela, to seize control of the country's oil reserves.

Talking to his followers in Caracas, the Venezuelan President urged them to join in defending their country. The military drills will take place on August 26 and 27, and will involve both troops and civilians.

Supporters of Maduro's ruling Socialist Party gathered in Caracas, where they voiced their opposition to Donald Trump's suggestion that a military option could solve the crisis in Venezuela.

Over one hundred and twenty people have lost their lives since protests against Maduro's regime began in April. The protests are being fueled by anger over food and medical supplies shortages, and the President's controversial decisions to create a super legislative body that has the power to change the country's constitution.

Leaders around the world have denounced the body, saying it is dictatorial.

Trump is being lied to

Maduro has accused Donald Trump's advisors of misleading the Republican about the real situation in Venezuela. The Socialist leader said that he wants to have a phone conversation with Trump, during which he will inform him that the intelligence reports they give him on Venezuela are false.

However, the White House last week refused Maduro's request to speak to Trump. US government officials stated that Trump would only engage the Venezuelan leader after Venezuela is restored to Democracy.

Earlier before Maduro's rally, the country's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino made an appearance in a televised event. The minister was flanked by several battle-ready soldiers. Padrino said that America wanted to lay its hands on Venezuela's oil reserves.