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An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas 

US condemns Russian deployment of military equipment to Venezuela

Venezuela accepting two Russian military planes full of personnel and specialists plus tonnes of technical hardware is being roundly criticized by Washington.

By James Blears

The two planes with more than 30 tons of equipment and one hundred soldiers landed on Venezuelan territory on Saturday. The US State Department waited until the beginning of the week to issue a verbal salvo stressing: "The United States condemns Russia`s deployment of military aircraft and personnel, as a reckless escalatation of the situation."

Listen to James Blears' report

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo waded in with his own broadside, calling his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov, to insist that the United States won`t stand idly by. Yet he hasn`t elaborated on exactly what action would be taken to prevent so called indolence. Venezuelan officials insist this is maintenance of Russian military hardware, purchased by themselves. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza is accusing Washington of hypocrisy spending billions on its own armed services budgets while interfering with another and different technical cooperation program.

With political sparks flying, another electricity blackout affected 16 of Venezuela`s 23 States, with the Government accusing the US of yet more sabotage. While Opposition Leader Juan Guaido has said it`s due to an creaking, ageing overloaded system which is part of a crumbling infrastructure gridlock.

26 March 2019, 13:18