By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Russian military contingent that arrived in Venezuela over the weekend, drawing U.S. condemnation, is believed by the U.S. government to be made up of special forces including “cybersecurity personnel,” a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was still assessing the Russian deployment, which Washington has called a “reckless escalation” of the situation in Venezuela.
Two Russian air force planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday carrying nearly 100 Russian troops, according to local media reports, two months after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump disavowed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Russia’s main objective in providing the military assistance, including cyber experts, would likely be to help shield Maduro from “regime change” and ensure a foothold for Moscow in Latin America, according to a source familiar with U.S. government assessments of Venezuela. Russia also has major energy investments in OPEC member Venezuela.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the presence of “Russian specialists” in Venezuela was governed by a military-technical cooperation agreement between the two countries. It did not provide further details.
The United States condemned this action and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State called Moscow to discuss describing this as a reckless escalation of conditions on the ground in Venezuela.
There is more.
China is defending Russia in this action.