The visit of Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers drove the country’s opposition forces to a frenzy, President of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) Diosdado Cabello wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
“Oh, those poor opposition leaders, who called for military intervention in Venezuela yesterday. Multinational armed forces were invited every day for an incursion here. But a sudden visit courtesy of Russia’s aviation and (everyone) went completely off their rocker. It’s one thing to summon the devil, but it’s another to see him approaching,” said the head of Venezuela’s constituent assembly elected in 2017 to draft a new constitution.
On December 10, two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers, an Antonov An-124 military transport plane and an Ilyushin Il-62 long-range aircraft arrived in Venezuela’s Sim·n Bol·var International Airport.
The warplanes covered a distance of 10,000 kilometers and flew over the Atlantic Ocean, the Barents, Norwegian and Caribbean Seas in strict compliance with international rules of the use of airspace, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
This is not the first such flight performed by Russia’s Tu-160 warplanes as they flew to Venezuela in September 2008 and in October-November 2013.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the visit by Russia’s strategic bombers to Venezuela as “squandering public funds.” In response, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted Pompeo’s statement as being inappropriate and undiplomatic.