Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced earlier today that an aircraft belonging to the United States violated Venezuelan airspace “within the last 48 hours”. Padrino Lopez claims that the intruding aircraft belongs to the United States Coast Guard, and identified it as a Bombardier DASH-8.

Padrino Lopez suggested that the aircraft was gathering intelligence in the area, since he claims that “it’s unusual for aircraft with these characteristics to violate airspaces”.

While the United States Coast Guard does not official field the DASH-8, both the United States Air Force and U.S. Customs and Border Protection do.

Maduro spoke on the event earlier today, calling it a “provocation” and saying:

Let’s denounce before every regional organizations and those beyond — the United Nations — all of these new unusual, extraordinary provocations against Venezuela.

Padrino Lopez said that the DASH-8 in question entered Venezuelan airspace near Los Monjes, a small island west of Aruba:

… it flew in search circles and then continued south.

Without providing more details, Padrino Lopez said that RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft belonging to the United States “have been coming closer” to Venezuelan territory recently.

Jose Vicente Rangel: Opposition Will Call for Violence Even if They Win

Jose Vicente Rangel, a journalist and former Minister of Defense under Hugo Chavez, said on his weekly television show earlier today that the opposition would call for violence in the aftermath of the elections, even if it won. Rangel said:

Even if you don’t believe it, there is a plan underway to end the destabilizing process with violence. Duly-processed intelligence information confirms that opposition sectors are rapidly working towards two possible situations. [If the PSUV wins the elections], they will immediately declare nationally and internationally that fraud has taken place, and they will deploy violence. The other possibility is if the opposition wins by a thin margin and does not win a ‘super majority]. Similarly, violence will be unleashed on the streets.

Rangel offered no evidence for his statements.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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