Mês: abril 2019

Venezuela

A New Syria   Israel Shamir Apr. 2, 2019   A few days ago, an Ilyushin IL-62M liner carried over a hundred Russian soldiers and officers to Caracas. Symbolically, they made a stopover in Syria, as if saying that Venezuela is the next country after Syria to be saved from ruin and dismemberment. The military mission was led by the Head of General Staff, General Tonkoshkurov (“Thin-Skinned”, a name that would thrill Vladimir Nabokov). ‘Don’t you dare, exclaimed John Bolton, meddle in the Western Hemisphere! Hands off Venezuela! It is our back yard!’ The Russians didn’t buy it. Some time ago they tried to object to the US tanks being positioned in Estonia, a brief drive from St Petersburg, and all they’ve got was preaching that sovereignty means sovereignty, and Estonia does not have to ask for Russian permission to receive American military assistance. Now they repeated this American sermon verbatim to John Bolton and his boss. Get out of Syria first, they added. This is a new level in the Russian-American relations, or should we say confrontation. For a very long time, the Russians convinced themselves that their liking for the United States was mutual, or at least would be returned one day. However, this stage is over, the scales fell off their eyes and they finally realised America’s implacable enmity. ‘These Russians are really dumb if it...

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China’s PLA Troops in Venezuela

Game Changer   M.K. Bhadrakumar Apr. 2, 2019   The reported arrival of Chinese military personnel in Venezuela last weekend is undoubtedly a major event in world politics.  Unlike Russia, which has a history of force projection abroad, this is an extremely rare Chinese move. Although vital Chinese interests are at stake in the war against terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Syria, China refrained from publicising any such deployment.  The reports mention that the group of Chinese military personnel is 120-strong and arrived on the Margarita Island in the Caribbean Sea off the Venezuelan mainland on March 28 ‘to deliver humanitarian aid and military supplies to the government forces.’ After delivering the humanitarian supplies, the Chinese PLA troops were apparently transferred to a Venezuelan military facility. While the delivery of aid is one of many expected shipments, according to government officials, the arrival of Chinese military personnel was under-reported in international press. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Venezuela imported $349 million worth of arms from China between 2010 and 2014 alone — initially, with less sophisticated equipment such as radars and aircraft to train pilots, reinforced vehicles and replacement parts, etc. but military goods that arrived in 2017 including armoured tanks, ammunition, uniforms and infantry equipment, as well as replacement and service parts for Russian-made pieces.  A week ago, around 100 Russian military personnel were deployed...

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