VARGAS, Dec. 12, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez delivers a speech during the reception ceremony for the Russian Armed Forces at the Simon Bolivar International Airport, in Maiquetia, Vargas State, Venezuela, Dec. . Image Source: IANS News

Caracas, Aug 14 : Venezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez led the signature drive among members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) to protest US economic sanctions.

Padrino Lopez said in a speech broadcast on television on Tuesday that they would capture "our feelings of rage, rejection, condemnation and hatred against despotism" on the signature-collection notepads, Xinhua reported.

"We have plenty of sources of inspiration this year to turn to our history, to fill our lungs with love for our motherland, to reject North American imperialism," he said.

The US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that freezes all Venezuelan state assets in the United States on August 5.

The minister said that "justice" should be enforced against those who had instigated Washington's economic sanctions against Venezuela.

"As FANB's soldiers we are hungry for justice, we want justice, and all this damage towards Venezuela... all of that has to be judged by Venezuelan justice," he said.

On August 8, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a drive of "millions of signatures" to back a manifesto it plans to present in September to the 74th session of General Assembly of the United Nations to denounce US "criminal blockade."

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