U.S. in 'hysterics' after Russian nuclear-capable bombers land in Venezuela

Venezuelan Defense Minister Padrino Lopez speaks to press after receiving the Russian servicemen

Venezuelan Defense Minister Padrino Lopez speaks to press after receiving the Russian servicemen

Two Russian nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-160 bombers, along with an Antonov An-124 heavily military transport aircraft, an Ilyushin Il-62 long-haul plane and up to 100 personnel arrived Monday at the Maiquetía Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas.

Russian Federation sent about 100 pilots and other personnel along with two Tupolev-160 bombers and two other aircraft to Caracas.

Russian Federation sent the planes following a visit to Moscow last week by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for talks with Putin, who expressed support for the beleaguered socialist government.

He said the deployment was a case of "two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer".

"As for the idea that we are squandering money, we do not agree". He told reporters Tuesday that such criticism sounds odd from a country "half of whose military budget would be enough to feed the whole of Africa".

Two Russian planes capable of carrying nuclear bombs landed in Venezuela Monday for what Venezuelan officials call air force drills created to bolster its defense capabilities.

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Maduro welcomes the visiting planes and often touts his partnership with Russian Federation as evidence of how Venezuela could defend itself with help from friends in the face of any hypothetical US military aggression.

Maduro frequently invokes the possibility of a U.S. invasion in the South American nation, a notion U.S. President Donald Trump's administration denies.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called Pompeo's comments "not only disrespectful, but cynical", highlighting the number of military bases the United States owns overseas.

Maduro said the talks with Putin in Moscow this month yielded Russian investment in Venezuela's oil and gold sectors.

The commander of Russia's strategic aircraft, General Sergei Kobylash, said the drills "will help us understand better how Venezuela's pilots are organized and trained".

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