Leaders of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) attended a military parade in the Venezuelan city of Valencia on Wednesday to celebrate the 188th anniversary of the battle of Carabobo that determined the independence of Venezuela.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa attended the parade, which also commemorated Venezuelan Army Day.
The parade was held during an extraordinary summit of the ALBA. Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda officially joined the organization during the meeting held in Maracay, Aragua State.
Some 250 armored vehicles, 45 planes, 50 horses and more than 5,200 troops from the Venezuelan National Armed Force participated in the parade, together with troops from Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua and Bolivia.
"188 years have passed, but Carabobo is today a live battle," Chavez said during the event.
Also present were the prime ministers of Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.
The battle of Carabobo sealed Venezuela's independence from Spain in 1821.