November 9, 2015
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he will denounce Washington’s new threats against the South American country to international organizations after a United States intelligence plane violated the country’s airspace twice on Friday.
“The country as a whole must be united in this denunciation against provocative military actions by the United States,” Maduro said.
The president said he would present an official complaint to the Union of South American Nations, the Community of American and Caribbean States and the ALBA alliance of 12 Caribbean and Latin American nations.
Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez denounced the U.S. Coast Guard’s violation of Venezuelan sovereignty on Sunday.
“(On Friday) a U.S. Coast Guard intelligence plane violate our airspace … (the U.S.) did not report as required by international law the flight of their aircraft over our airspace … that is the worst of it all, that the DASH-8 type place violate Venezuelan airspace,” said Lopez.
Maduro said that the Venezuelan Air Force, the Strategic Operational Command and the military is on alert 24/7, “protecting our airspace, our territory, the integrity of our country and I am informing in real time on everything that is happening.”
Venezuela cannot and will not be intimidated, Maduro said.
“(Venezuela) is a country that is standing (strong) … and we are constructing our own political, economic and social systems, and nobody should interfere with this,” he said.
Lopez also warned that the U.S. is carrying out unusual and irregular flights near Venezuelan airspace.
“RC-135 type planes, accompanied by a C-17 Globemaste (a strategic transport plane) have been detected carrying out unusual reconnaissance flights over our region of influence and based in Curacao,” the minister added. Curacao is an autonomous island of the Netherlands in the Caribbean.
The U.S. aircraft twice entered Venezuela’s airspace over the archipelago of Los Monjes in the Gulf of Venezuela.
No U.S. official has responded to the violation of Venezuelan airspace, and, according to Reuters, the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela and the U.S. Coast Guard were not immediately available for comment.
Padrino, dressed in his military uniform, said other airplanes able to collect intelligence, including photos, were close to Venezuela, while adding that a U.S. aircraft carrier circulating in the region would be “very close” to Venezuela during the Dec. 6 parliamentary elections.
“This deserves our attention,” Padrino said. “Taking into account the precedents that exist, especially in the year 2002,” he said, in reference to the U.S.-endorsed coup that briefly deposed late President Hugo Chavez.
Since Chavez took office in 1999, Venezuela has been constantly attacked in many ways by the United States, whose government has unsuccessfully attempted to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution.
And, since 2008, there have been many confirmed Venezuelan airspace violations by the United States.
On May 20, 2008, a Viking S-3 of the U.S. Navy that took off from Curacao violated Venezuela’s airspace. Washington then claimed the plane reported navigational issues. At least five other airspace violations by the U.S. have been reported since.
The United States has various operations centers in the region known as Forward Operating Location, including in Aruba and Curacao, about 30 miles off the Venezuela coast.
According to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaked confidential documents, the FOL’s main objectives are Venezuela, Russia, China and Iran. In Venezuela’s case, Washington’s objective is to block the South American country from achieving regional leadership.