Venezuela has begun military instruction of civilian reservists who, according to officials there, would conduct guerilla warfare against foreign aggressors.
About 500,000 civilians have begun training. They will train on weekends for four months of weapons and resistance tactics.
Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has accused the United States of plotting to invade his country. Mr. Chavez has begun the civilian training program to build up a force capable of resisting a more powerful foreign force.
Washington has denied it has any plans to invade Venezuela and has warned that Mr. Chavez is becoming a threat to Venezuela's democracy and regional stability.Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.