Russia Signs Deal To Send Navy To Venezuela After ‘Unacceptable’ U.S. Moves

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Above Photo: Russian antisubmarine ship Moskva is seen in Venezuela’s port of La Guaira, about 19 miles north of Caracas on August 27, 2013. Moscow’s military ties with Latin America peaked during the Cold War, but Russia has sought to again shore up relations as the U.S. continued to intervene in the region.LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Russian military has signed a deal that would allow it to send military ships to Venezuela, expressing support for the Latin American country. The U.S. has been critical of current Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and has backed attempts to replace him.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino met Thursday in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, with whom he “signed an agreement on the visits of warships to the ports of both states and discussed the situation in Venezuela, as well as issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.” The deal came as Caracas was in the throes of a months-long political crisis between Moscow-backed President Nicolás Maduro and Washington-backed National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó.

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week of a near-total boycott of Maduro’s administration, Padrino told Shoigu that Venezuela was “indeed currently going through a difficult situation, due to U.S. actions,” calling it “absolutely insolent the way it violates international law.”

Shoigu, for his part, said Russian officials “are closely following the events taking place in Venezuela” and “note the unprecedented pressure of Washington aimed at destabilizing the situation in your country.” Offering his support for Maduro in “pursuing an independent foreign policy and counteracting U.S. attempts to change the legitimately-elected government,” Shoigu said he considered “external interference, especially in the present, extremely tense atmosphere, unacceptable.”

Venezuela was already suffering from a debilitating economic crisis deepened by U.S. sanctions announced by Trump back in 2017. However, the country erupted with a political rift in January as Guaidó declared himself president in a move swiftly backed by Washington and its regional allies.

Maduro, who has since been cut off by much of the West and its international partners, has received continued backing from fellow left-wing-led Latin American states such as Cuba, as well as other powers abroad including Russia, China, Iran and Turkey.

In a tweet published after Thursday’s meeting, Padrino said the new would help to “maintain a dynamic and strong relationship” with Russia. He said it would also “result in more exchange in education, training and combined exercises on land, water and air.”

One month before Guaidó proclaimed himself leader in January, Russian bombers staged joint drills with Venezuelan warplanes over the Caribbean, alarming U.S. officials. Defying U.S. warnings, Russia has continued to deploy personnel to Venezuela as part of its “military-technical cooperation” dating back to 2001 with the oil-rich state across the world.

When Guaidó staged an abortive uprising in late April, top Trump administration officials blamed Moscow for keeping the socialist leader in power, though the president himself later downplayed this connection. Padrino was later named by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton as one of three top Venezuelan officials that had allegedly agreed to participate in the regime change plot only to back out at the last minute, something the general has vehemently denied.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino shake hands at a meeting in Moscow, August 15. Amid a months-long political crisis in Venezuela, Moscow has backed President Nicolás Maduro against U.S.-recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó.NATIONAL BOLIVARIAN ARMED FORCES OF VENEZUELA

Since then, Padrino and Bolton have engaged in heated exchanges on Twitter, criticizing one another’s position on Venezuela. On Wednesday, Bolton commented on the death in June of Venezuelan Navy Captain Rafael Acosta, who was accused of treason and the subject of a recent New York Times report detailing his alleged torture and execution.

Tagging Padrino, Bolton tweeted: “you have a choice to make. Defend your fellow soldiers & countrymen in the face of torture & abuse at the hands of the dictator Maduro. Or, you will be remembered for being complicit in these actions, betraying your constitutional oath.”

“Nicolas Maduro’s repression knows no boundaries! He is a desperate dictator willing to torture and abuse members of the Venezuelan military to retain his grip on power. We must hold him accountable for his disregard of Venezuelas institutions,” Bolton continued. “We stand with those members of the Venezuelan military that swore allegiance to their country and constitution, not the Maduro dictatorship! We are with you as you fight to defend the freedom of your fellow Venezuelans.”

In this instance, Padrino did not offer a public response.

  • voza0db

    This is going to be FUN…

  • kevinzeese

    Hopefully the fun is the US deciding not to do a naval blockade now that Russian ships will be there.

  • Robert Mcconnell

    Holy shit, the arrogance of the deluded bolt-on knows no bounds

  • eight.of.wands

    Too much “both sides are to blame” in this article for me to keep silent….i agree, it’s a corrupt self-serving govt brutally suppressing its own people and fully deserving of ouster and criminal prosecution, but that would be US, not Venezuela…..President Maduro was democratically elected, is fully supported by his citizens, and has done nothing to earn the hypocritical bombast and lies and repugnant economic and military threats of America…..if he weren’t fortuitously sitting atop colossal underground reserves of petroleum which our ruling elites have long been obsessed with stealing from the Venezuelan people, Maduro’s name would be completely unknown to you, me and the lightpost…

  • Infarction

    The Russian’s overt steps to support the democratically elected and popular Nicolas Maduro government will keep the bully boys in the Trump administration from raising the stakes to an outright military invasion. However, the brutal and illegal sanctions along with whatever clandestine crimes the CIA is perpetrating against Venezuela will, unfortunately, continue apace.

    Nonetheless, with a major world power backing the Maduro government is a giant step toward bringing to major the weight of other nations against the rogue and decaying superpower that has for far too long abused other nations at its whim.

    The US government is seized by a psychotic, sadistic and pathologically acquisitive oligarchy whose greed and thirst for power can never be sated. With their immense ill-gotten gains, these plutocrats have stolen control of the three branches of the formerly elected government along with its attendant mandarins. Thus the US government has abrogated its legal and stated purpose and must be replaced by a true government of We the People.

  • ANTONIO

    Latin Americans have centuries of experience with colonialism, first the Spanish then the Americans. In 1829 Simón Bolívar, declared that “the United States seemed destined to be a plague on the Americas by bringing misery in the name of freedom”. They know en carne propia what exploitation of their resources by a foreign power means. Even the most simple peasant has a sophisticated knowledge of international politics, because he/she has lived it. Their lands have been taken away by the Americans, the oil, and copper (in Chile) have been stolen at ridiculous prices artificially engineered to benefit the American capitalist. They know who the quislings in their government are, and they support their genuine leaders, among them Maduro, who has won 18 elections and referendums. The Constitution guarantees everybody a job or a stipend (including housewives) free education, free health care and housing. Two million apartments have been built since the beginning of Chavez’s mandate. Illiteracy has been all but eradicated. The men and women of the Venezuelan army are ready to die defending their country and their president. Venezuela has nothing to do with the dichotomy dictatorship-democracy, but rather represents a people determined to carve their own path in the world free and independent rejecting the efforts of an empire determine to dominate it.

  • kevinzeese

    I assume the ‘deuded bolt’ you are referring to is Trump for thinking he can surround Venezuela with the US Navy.

  • voza0db

    The dumb US navy personnel are already saying they are ready for naval war!

  • History301

    I don’t see any scenario that doesn’t include countries, as abstract a conception as the term country may be, rising up to defend against the largest villain and rogue state on the block. Do peoples have any choice but to fight back back or feel it’s their only option in light of such a reality?
    Recall that back in 1958 there was a national defense estimate in that year too and the number one threat to the U.S. agencies preparing it and thereby the United States and it’s oligarchs collectively was the non-aligned movement of nations, which included India, Egypt, Brazil and others. Not communism, the Soviet Union, or China as one might suspect, and I think it’s still important to consider what happens when entire countries or peoples do replace the way money is moved around the globe and how the U.S. military might react, should the banksters lose their grip on the fiat currencies found around the globe.
    Beats me how it’s all going to turn out, but I do believe that many peoples around the globe will unite against a common enemy and that enemy isn’t just found in the U.S. either. Rather, it’s a global network of oligarchs, billionaires, and extraction corporations owning governments everyplace they operate.
    Will the government of Venezuela become immune to Russian oligarchs or ones in China as a response to U.S. colonialism? Replacing one with another seems a bad idea, but at the same time, who is looking out for the peoples of Venezuela at present if not Maduro, Russia and China? It damn sure isn’t the U.S. and chicken hawks like Bolton, Trump and pompous Pompeo. Of course the same could be said for the democrat’s leadership too. Six of one, half a dozen of the other is par for the course in the U.S. in particular.

  • Jon

    Agreed! The original coup against US Constitutional government was on Nov. 22, 1963. See “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters” by James Douglass for much documented info.

  • Jon

    You missed the pun; John Bolt-on.

  • chetdude

    My analysis of the last 75 years of USAmerica’s Forever War tells me that at this point China and Russia mainly want a piece of other “country’s” economies but NOT their souls…

  • History301

    Don’t disagree and hope you are correct, because the U.S. oligarchs certainly do appear to want everything and that includes people’s very soul. Russians and Chinese have generally been far more practical in their endeavours.