The Venezuelan regime’s assist for the Vladimir Putin authorities amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a destabilizing issue for Latin América.
Mar 22, 2022
“Russia has the full support of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro stated, upon receiving Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov on the Miraflores Palace on February 16, 2022. “We have ratified the path of powerful military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela,” he added.
Russia and China are the Venezuelan regime’s major weapon suppliers. According to Rear Admiral (ret.) Carlos Molina Tamayo, former head of Armament for the National Bolivarian Armed Force, who lives in exile in Spain, following his participation within the coup in opposition to Hugo Chávez in 2002, Moscow has delivered weapons programs price greater than $15 billion to Venezuela because the 2000s.
In addition, “the Venezuelan NGO Control Ciudadano detailed in 2021 Venezuela’s purchase from Russia of an unspecified quantity of Orlan 10, an unmanned aerial vehicle for reconnaissance operations,” Voice of America stated on January 18.
But this connection goes a lot additional. Julio Borges, former international envoy for Interim President Juan Guaidó, warned that Maduro and Putin’s aim is to destabilize the area, with the partnership of Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and Cuba’s Miguel Díaz Canel.
“They have opened the region’s doors for Putin to import a conflict that is not ours, putting hemispheric security at risk. Our region cannot be part of Russia’s international chess game,” Borges stated by way of Twitter on February 24, as Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Days earlier than the invasion of Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov stated he couldn’t verify nor rule out the potential for sending Russian army belongings to Venezuela, Voice of América reported.
Weapons for guerrillas
At current, nonetheless, the better concern is that irregular armed teams may get their arms on mild weapon programs Russia delivered to the Venezuelan regime.
According to Molina Tamayo, these weapons vary from AK-103 rifles to the Igla-S surface-to-air missile programs. “Chávez’s purchase of AK rifles was in the interest of getting closer to Russia,” he stated.
The most critical problem has to do with the Igla-S system. In 2017, Reuters reported that, based on a army doc its groups had been in a position to evaluate, the Maduro regime would have some 5,000 Russian-made surface-to-air missiles. Since then, authorities officers of the area and international affairs specialists have expressed issues that these weapons may very well be slipping out of the regime’s arms and into these of irregular armed teams, such because the National liberation Army, and dissident teams of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
In February 2019, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned about growing danger to U.S. civil aviation of flying “into, out of, within or over the territory and airspace of Venezuela,” as a result of concern that the regime may lose management some its man moveable air protection programs, which may in flip be utilized by non-state armed actors.
Amid the battle over the invasion of Ukraine, Molina Tamayo says that Putin’s plan is to cement Venezuela, in addition to Cuba and Nicaragua’s, “‘pro-Russian,’ [stance] in order to annoy the United States.”
Read More: Diálogo – Digital Military Magazine – Russia-Venezuela army partnership a menace to Latin América