“The Bolivarian army, Navy, air force, police, the people of Venezuela need to be alert”. With these words the President of the country Nicolas Maduro has announced plans to purchase new shipments of weapons from China and Russia. Why would a country already in recent years has bought weapons worth billions of dollars, new tanks and fighter jets?
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his country will continue to buy weapons from Russia and China, despite a difficult fiscal situation because of falling oil prices. As RIA “Novosti” with reference to the portal El Nacional, the President said that the armed forces must be prepared to protect the people and the country.
“The United States declared a state of emergency in relation to Venezuela. Arms purchases are primarily associated with this”
“We are peaceful people, we don’t want violence or war, but now the Bolivarian army, Navy, air force, police, the people of Venezuela need to be alert,” said Maduro, adding that the government is trying to prevent a situation in which “foreign imperialist boots” would have touched water or land the South American country.
Recall that in February as part of a tour to Latin America, Venezuela was visited by the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu. In the negotiations with Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino, the Russian Minister also discussed military-technical cooperation. Hand, in particular, agreed to hold joint exercises on the water.
In July last year, Maduro said that Venezuela will buy from Russia and China the most advanced in terms of technologies adopted “to strengthen the whole military technical equipment and weapons systems of our country.”
According to the Director of the Federal service for military-technical cooperation (FSMTC) of Russia, Alexander Fomin, in 2014, Venezuela had occupied in the structure of deliveries of Russian weapons abroad in fifth place with 6% of all deliveries. In the period from 2012 to 2015 in the structure of military exports to Russia, Venezuela will be on the second (after India) place with sales of $ 3.2 billion.
From 2005 to 2009, Rosoboronexport signed with Venezuela about 30 contracts for the supply of weapons. Venezuela had supplied air defense systems (“Antey-2500”, “Pechora-2M”, “Beech”, “Needle”), tanks T-72M, multiple rocket launchers “Smerch” and “Grad”, armored vehicles, artillery. Was performed a contract to supply 24 multi-role fighters su-30MK2, 34 helicopters Mi-17V-5, ten Mi-35M and three Mi-26T.
In Venezuela it was delivered 100 thousand Kalashnikov AK-103. Now Russia is helping to build two plants for licensed Assembly of these rifles and issue ammunition.
“The American weapons need to replace something else.”
First Vice-President of Academy of geopolitical problems Konstantin Sivkov reminded that the armed forces of Venezuela were previously uncontested equipped with American weapons. Therefore, after the rupture of relations between the two countries supplying parts and ammunition for these weapons ceased. This meant that over a fairly short period of time – five or six years – the weapon began to fail.
“Of course, American weapons need to be replaced with something else. The United States to not count. Therefore, Venezuela preoriented on Russia. There are cheaper Chinese guns, but it and less quality,” – said the newspaper VIEW Sivkov.
According to him, the T-72 tanks and the latest designs of T-90 in its level, in full conformity with Western models, and at a cost much cheaper. “The same can be said regarding the firepower and aircraft,” – said the expert. Speaking about the item purchased weapons, Sivkov noted that the original priorities were given to air force and air defense and to a lesser extent, armored vehicles and equipment of the army.
“Today, we must assume, in the interests of filling capacity at the level of technical equipment of the land forces, greater emphasis will be placed on the purchase of weapons for these types of troops. It is primarily armored vehicles and antitank weapons, and weapons of naval forces. Most likely, these will be submarines of the newest Russian project 677 877ЭКМ or – on the basis of “Varshavyanka” or even “Cupid” (export version of “Lada”),” – believes the military expert, adding that we can expect the supply of light naval forces, especially missile boats.
In addition, Venezuela is showing interest in buying Russian attack helicopters Mi-28NE “Night hunter”, air defense systems “Buk-M1-2”, infantry fighting vehicles BMP-3M and BTR-80A, self-propelled howitzers 2S19 “Msta-S” 152-mm multiple rocket launchers BM-21 “Grad”, self-propelled mortar “Nona-SVK”, trucks “Ural-4320”, “Ural -3206” and other types of equipment.
“Undoubtedly, will continue procurement of aviation, but not in such quantities as before, and air defense systems, because in addition to missile systems and medium range in a large number of short-range missiles,” – said Sivkov.
The expert noted: all will depend on what is now debating the security policy of Venezuela. “Whether it be the full reflection of aerospace attack, whether it be preparing for the refusal of direct confrontation, delaying the enemy on their territory and destroying it in the arrays rainforests, mountainous regions and forested areas by the actions of guerrilla groups – said Sivkov. – Are completely different things. It may be some kind of combination. Depending on this, will buy different weapons.”
“At any moment possible military action”
In turn, researcher, Russian state humanitarian University, an expert on Latin America Michael Blanch is convinced that Venezuela intends to continue purchases of Russian weapons because of the desire to provide for his defense, “especially in light of the deterioration of relations with the United States.” “The United States declared a state of emergency in relation to Venezuela. This means that at any time possible, including military action against Venezuela. Arms purchases are primarily associated with it,” say the newspaper VIEW.
We will remind that on March 24, during his visit to Cuba, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Havana consider unacceptable the attempts of the U.S. intervention in the internal Affairs of Venezuela. The Minister, inter alia, referred to the “illegal sanctions imposed by the United States against a number of Venezuelan citizens.” “We welcome the efforts of the government of Venezuela to promote national dialogue, national consensus with constructive opposition” – quoted Lavrov TASS.
Earlier, the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said that the recent events in Venezuela – “riots and demonstration under the loud accusations of the authorities of corruption “concern” US “exceeding the legal permissible standards,” sanctions” cause “a feeling of deja vu”. According to Kosachev, the U.S. is seeking to organize a coup in Venezuela on the Ukrainian scenario.
The Senator recalled that in December 2014 the U.S. Congress adopted, and President Obama approved the “law on the protection of human rights and civil society in Venezuela”, in fact, imposing sanctions against Venezuela and of supporting local opposition forces”, and recently “in relation to Venezuela were generally introduced the so-called emergency mode – same as against Russia”.
Kosachev indicates that the intention to organize a coup in Venezuela accused the us government and President Nicolas Maduro.
“Given all that the past year and a half unfolded in front of our eyes in Kiev, such estimates do not seem exaggerated” – quoted by TASS statement Kosachev. The head of the profile Committee of the Federation Council believes that “there is nothing new or surprising in the fact that oil-producing countries, as agreed, periodically suddenly “threaten the national security of the United States”, “forcing” them to intervene through the encouragement of coups, and direct military intervention”.
In this regard, looks understandable desire Maduro to bolster its legitimacy with weapons supplies from Russia. And it’s not so much that the Venezuelan army is armed is not enough, how to effort to enlist the support of generals. For obvious reasons, civilian Maduro has no such influence on the army, as his predecessor, Colonel of the airborne troops, Hugo Chavez.
However, as noted by Michael Blanch, it is not only in increase of authority among the generals, but also in the impact on the army as a whole. “Traditionally, in Latin America and in Venezuela in particular the army rests not on the generals, unlike the European and Russian armies, and the middle and Junior officers,” – said the expert.
The threat of “war by proxy”
Michael Bleached highlights that were previously the occasion to confirm that “the US is not experiencing any gentle or even calm feelings to the Venezuelan regime.”
“It was in the days of Chavez, which in result inspired the coup managed to remove from power for two days. In the case of Maduro – said the source. – The military threat increases. Recently the USA avoided direct participation of its armed forces, and make it someone else’s hands.” In this case, a few years, the tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, especially in the border areas, says the expert. “There can start any military action, says Whiten. It is hard to say where it all can begin. Purchase weapons are, in my opinion, especially for the defense of Venezuela”.
We will add that at the end of last week in Venezuela ended a two-week military exercise “Bolivarian shield” with the participation of 80 thousand soldiers and 30 thousand volunteers. Practiced prevent possible aggression from the United States, which declared the South American country “a real threat to national security” of the United States.
Vladimir Padrino said after the exercise that “the army and the population of the country is ready to repel any threat from the US Empire” in relation to the South American country. “We guarantee the civil-military Union in the case of intervention,” he assured Padrino.