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Montevideo, May 23rd 2019 - 17:24 UTC

Russian strategic bombers land in Venezuela; Maduro applauds, Washington furious

Wednesday, December 12th 2018 - 08:36 UTC
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Capable of carrying short-range nuclear missiles, the planes can fly over 12,000 km without re-fuelling and have landed in Venezuela twice before in the last decade. Capable of carrying short-range nuclear missiles, the planes can fly over 12,000 km without re-fuelling and have landed in Venezuela twice before in the last decade.
Their deployment came days after Maduro, the most significant U.S. foe in Latin America, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Their deployment came days after Maduro, the most significant U.S. foe in Latin America, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Two Russian strategic bomber aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons have landed in ally Venezuela, a show of support for Venezuela’s socialist government that has infuriated Washington

The TU-160 supersonic bombers, known as “White Swans” by Russian pilots, landed at Maiquetia airport near capital Caracas on Monday after covering more than 10,000 km, the Russian and Venezuelan governments said.

Their deployment came days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose left-wing administration is the most significant U.S. foe in Latin America, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

As OPEC member Venezuela’s socialist-run economy implodes, Russia has become a key lender of last resort, investing in its oil industry and providing support to its military.

Capable of carrying short-range nuclear missiles, the planes can fly over 12,000 km without re-fuelling and have landed in Venezuela twice before in the last decade.

“Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela,” fumed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Twitter.

“The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

The Kremlin on Tuesday rejected Pompeo’s criticism, saying it was “highly undiplomatic” and “completely inappropriate.”

“As for the idea that we are squandering money, we do not agree. It’s not really appropriate for a country half of whose defense budget could feed the whole of Africa to be making such statements,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, which said the bombers had been accompanied by two other Russian military planes, did not say if the planes were carrying missiles, how long they would stay for, or what their mission was.

Russia has used them in the past to flex its military muscles under the nose of the United States, delighting Venezuelan officials who have cast such flights as evidence it is able to defend itself, with allies’ help, from any attack.

Maduro frequently invokes the possibility of a U.S. invasion in the South American nation, a notion U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration denies.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Chicureo

    Also in the news yesterday: “Venezuela, by some measures home to the world’s largest crude reserves, saw oil output drop in September to a four-decade low of 1.17 million barrels. The same month saw North Dakota produce a record of nearly 1.3 million barrels.” Just North Dakota alone is outperforming the Marxist idiots!

    Dec 12th, 2018 - 11:54 am 0
  • Martin Woodhead

    Putin trolls America with his soviet union commemorative flight strategic bombers are no threat to America or even the Falklands but they make great TV.
    Venezuela wouldn't be Marxist if the US hadn't spent 50 years fighting the commies by backing any monster who claimed to be anti-communist. Much like Russia finds its neighbors rushed to Join NATO

    Dec 12th, 2018 - 05:21 pm 0
  • :o))

    Washington furious? WHY on earth?

    Dec 18th, 2018 - 10:04 am 0
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