Russia Sends Troops to Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
According to Reuters on Sunday, Russia sent around 100 troops to Caracas, saying the following:
"A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday."
"That comes three months after the two nations held military exercises on Venezuelan soil that President Nicolas Maduro called a sign of strengthening relations, but which Washington criticized as Russian encroachment in the region."
Reportedly Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, Main Command of Russian Land Forces chief, is leading whatever purpose lies behind its Defense Ministry's mission.
Tonkoshkurov is a senior military figure. From October 2013 to May 2018, he was General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces subcommander - currently head of Russian ground forces.
Reportedly he was onboard one of two military aircraft sent to Caracas with other Russian forces. The second aircraft carried equipment for their mission.
Reuters: "An Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24."
"The cargo plane left Caracas on Sunday afternoon, according to Adsbexchange, another flight-tracking site."
An unnamed Russian embassy source said officials arrived for "exchange consultations" with the Bolivarian Republic, likely with its senior military staff, according to Sputnik News, the source adding:
"Russia has various contracts that are in the process of being fulfilled, contracts of a technical military character."
So far, neither Russian or Venezuelan officials commented on the above report. Moscow has been supplying the Bolivarian Republic with hundreds of tons of medicines.
In January, both countries held joint military exercises in Venezuela. Two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers flew to the country.
At the time, Sputnik News said "(d)uring their visit to Venezuela, two Russian strategic bombers (capable of carrying nuclear and conventional weapons) carried out a planned flight over the Caribbean Sea and held military drills in the equatorial area, including joint flights with the Venezuelan Air Force jets."
Venezuelan Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez said both countries will continue to create a "productive and energetic team of brotherhood and effective cooperation…We are getting prepared to defend Venezuela when it is needed."
Around 100 Russia troops are far short of a Kremlin peacekeeping mission to the Bolivarian Republic I've been urging - something similar to combatting US-supported terrorists in Syria, short of conducting military operations unless needed.
Trump regime hardliners aren't likely to risk harming them by direct or proxy military intervention - why I believe it's the most effective way to defeat their coup plot.
Is a token Russian force in Venezuela prelude to sending greater numbers?
Maduro exposed a US paramilitary plot against him and his government, arrests made, indicating more to come.
In a Saturday address, he said "American imperialists want to kill me. We just exposed the plan that the devil's puppet (Guaido) personally directed to kill me," adding he has "evidence," revealing the plot against him and his government.
Detained Guaido henchman Roberto Marrero's cell phone reportedly has information about plans for eight to 10 paramilitary hit squads, each with at least eight anti-government mercenaries - trained in Colombia to carry out assassinations, sabotage, and other terrorist actions against Maduro and the Bolivarian Republic.
According to Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez, "(a)ssassins and paramilitaries have been recruited, using large amounts of money so that they can be sent to Colombia to receive training."
"Marrero was involved in contracting people from Guatemala and Colombia to comply with the recruitment and training plan for assassins."
"At least 30 paramilitaries hired from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala, trained in Colombia, entered Venezuela. We are looking for them. We have already identified some."
Has Russia drawn a red line to preserve and protect the Bolivarian Republic it won't permit Trump regime hardliners to cross?
A small contingent of troops to the country headed by a senior commander is an encouraging sign.
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