U.S. cargo plane ensnared in weapons scheme to Venezuela
The Venezuelan government has accused the U.S. of financing arms deliveries to “terrorist” groups in the country, after showcasing a crate delivered by a U.S.-owned air freight company that allegedly contained 19 assault weapons, ammunition, military-grade radio antennas, and other items. “This material was destined for criminal groups and terrorist actions in the country, financed by the fascist extreme right and the government of the United States,” announced the vice minister of citizen security under the Maduro regime. The plane accused of delivering the weapons had flown only domestic U.S. routes in 2018, until January of this year, when it began making daily trips to Colombia and Venezuela, netting nearly 40 round trips since January 11. While the sellers and buyers of the alleged shipments is not known, the Venezuelan version suggests that an entity in the U.S. is working to arm dissidents of the Maduro regime or even the current opposition government. Such support is not without precedent, after the CIA used cover airlines since the 1950s to deliver weapons to forces across Southeast Asia and Latin America. Alternately, the reality could be a complete fabrication of the Venezuelan regime, used to galvanize support for itself and generate hostility towards the U.S.