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.]