Venezuela: Maduro slams US incursion into airspace

A US air force Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry spy plane.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hit out at “mounting aggressions” against his government after it was confirmed that a US plane had twice violated Venezuelan airspace.

The US Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry is reported to have illegally entered Venezuela's national airspace on May 11 and 13.

Both incursions were detected by Venezuela's Bolivarian air force and have sparked rumours that the US might be conducting covert spying operations over Venezuela.

“This plane has all the mechanisms to carry out electronic espionage,” said Maduro on his television program on May 17.

According to US Airforce information, the Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry provides an accurate, real-time picture of the battlespace to the Joint Air Operations Center. It possesses a powerful radar to “detect, identify and track enemy and friendly low-flying aircraft”.

The double incursion comes as right-wing politicians at home and abroad step up their demands for military intervention against Maduro's socialist government.

On May 12, former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe made headlines after publicly asking which “democratic country is willing to put its armed forces at the service of the protection of the Venezuelan opposition?”

Likewise, right-wing Justice First politician and former Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski publicly encouraged Venezuelan troops to form a mutiny against the national government on May 17.

A frenzy of international media reports in recent weeks has painted an apocalyptic vision of the struggling South American country. Media reports have claimed a lack of access to basic food and medicine, skyrocketing inflation and devaluation of the national currency.

“I can say today that we are victims of the worst media, political and diplomatic aggression that our country has lived through in the past ten years,” stated Maduro.

The president said his government would deliver an official complaint on the airspace incursions to US authorities.

[Reprinted from Venezuela Analysis.]

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.