Reports are claiming that two Russian air force planes transported dozens of troops and equipment to Venezuela’s main airport over the weekend, as opposition leader Juan Guaido tells the media that he is closer than ever to taking control of the country.
As the United States continues to push for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign, one of the leader’s most important allies is now reportedly sending in reinforcements.
Reports claim that two Russian military planes landed at Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday, carrying around 100 troops and 35 tons of equipment.
Diplomatic sources in Caracas said that Russian military personnel arrived to take part in bilateral consultations, as Russia and Venezuela have a number of contracts that are being implemented, including contracts on military and technical cooperation. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has yet to comment.
This comes as opposition leader Juan Guaido tells the media that he believes Maduro’s administration has reached its final stage because it has lost the opportunity to quote “finance political blackmail.”
Although Venezuela’s military has stood by Maduro, Guaido claimed that around 80 percent of military members are “convinced of the need for a change in Venezuela,” and that his team has been meeting with higher-ranking members, in an attempt to gain their support.
During a rally over the weekend, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters that a “neo-Nazi current” governs the White House because President Trump believes he is superior to the rest of the world.
“American imperialism wants to kill me,” Maduro said. “The diabolical puppet—we just dismantled a plan he personally directed to kill me. We have proof. They have not been able and they will not succeed because our God protects us.”
In an attempt to show his support for a handful of the countries that have publicly supported Guaido, President Trump invited diplomats to the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida this weekend. The meeting included leaders from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia. Trump revealed that the future of Venezuela was one of the main discussion topics.
“We always talk about trade, but we will also be discussing, I have a feeling, Venezuela. That may come up in our conversation. It has become a very big topic all over the world, Venezuela,” Trump said.
While Guaido claims that he is working to gain the support of Venezuela’s military, it remains to be seen what the United States’ next move will be, as Russia appears to be offering the backing of its own military to the leader the U.S. is seeking to overthrow.