Russian dictator Vladimir Putin humiliated and challenged President Donald Trump again over the weekend when Russian planes and troops arrived in Venezuela to counter Trump’s threats of military intervention if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro does not step down.
Trump has previously refused to rule out military action in Venezuela while backing opposition leader and Maduro rival Juan Guaidó to become the new president. The administration claims it’s all about bringing democracy to the South American nation, but it’s also no coincidence that Venezuela has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, a prize to American oil companies that have unfettered access to Trump.
But military intervention now risks an even bigger and deadlier conflict now that Putin has upped the ante.
According to Reuters:
Two Russian air force planes landed at Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to media reports, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.
Reporter Javier Mayorca wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the first plane carried Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, adding the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tonnes of material.
The flights carried officials who arrived to “exchange consultations,” wrote Russian government-owned news agency Sputnik, which quoted an unnamed source at the Russian embassy.
“Russia has various contracts that are in the process of being fulfilled, contracts of a technical military character,” Sputnik quoted the source as saying.
If Trump and American oil executives were hoping to get their hands on Venezuela’s oil reserves, Russia has put that goal out of reach for now.
Russia and Venezuela are longtime allies and have participated in joint military exercises and share oil resources. Putin is not about to let Trump break up that alliance.
Once again, Trump gets outplayed by Putin, and we all know that Trump’s response will be to lay down and roll over rather than challenge Putin’s foothold in South America.
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