Sunday, Nov 22nd, 2009

Nearly 50 years after a botched US-directed invasion of Cuba, the communist nation said Saturday it is holding a military exercise next week to boost preparedness against any future US attack.

“It is a necessity of the first order given the political-military situation that now defines relations between Cuba and the empire,” Major General Leonardo Andollo warned, referring to the United States.

told the official Granma newspaper that the “Bastion-2009″ exercises will “raise the deterrent capacity to prevent a military confrontation, under the principle that there is no better way to win a war than by avoiding it.”

The military exercise, Cuba’s largest in five years and the first since Barack Obama’s inauguration as US president in January, will be held Thursday through Saturday, followed by Sunday’s armed forces day to be marked nationwide.

The government of President Raul Castro, a longtime defense chief, expects that as many as four million Cubans may take part in Sunday’s events, in this Caribbean country of 11 million, the Americas’ only one-party communist regime.

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