Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the country’s military to remain alert and respond forcefully to any act of aggression following the violation of Venezuela’s airspace by a US military jet.
President Nicolas Maduro “has issued precise orders to remain alert and respond forcefully to any act of aggression,” the statement said as cited by Venezuelan media on Sunday.
Venezuela’s Defense Ministry has accused Washington of “flagrant provocation” after a US military plane reportedly flew into its territory from Colombia. According to Caracas, the US violated its airspace over 20 times this year, Russia Today reported.
A C-17 military transport aircraft belonging to the US Air Force flew into Venezuela’s Zulia state, which borders Colombia, on Thursday evening, its Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez said in a statement.
The plane flew on this course for some 14 nautical miles (26 kilometers), the ministry said.
It added that US planes had allegedly crossed into the country on 21 occasions this year, calling it a “serious violation of international aeronautical standards.”
The United States has been using political pressure and military threats against President Nicolas Maduro, seizing Venezuelan assets in the United States and imposing various sanctions.