With rising tensions in Latin America, the US and Russia are yet again using their influence in the region. In the light of recent provocations, the possibility of a violent conflict is looking very real.
In a highly provocative military drill, Brazil conducted a war simulation in the State of Amazonas that borders Venezuela. According to the local reports, about 3,600 Brazilian troops participated in the exercise codenamed “Operation Amazonia”.
Reportedly, a simulation was worked out where the war exercise was carried out on a battlefield where soldiers from the “Blue” country had to expel invaders from the “Red” country.
“Within the situation created and with the means awarded, it was the first time that this type of operation took place”, the Army informed the Forum, a Brazilian newspaper.
The report citing the Brazilian Army said that “various military means were used, such as vehicles, aircraft (planes and helicopters), ferries, regional vessels, ferry boats, artillery pieces, the Astros rocket launching system of the Army artillery, cannons, machine guns, ‘howitzer’ Oto Melara and mortars 60, 81 and 120 mm, in addition to special vehicles and trucks ”.
Reportedly, the rocket firing was witnessed by the Brazilian Defense Minister and the Army Commander. The unprecedented scale of the exercise cost more than one and a half million dollars.
The exercise took place from September 8 and 22. Interestingly, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was on a visit to the Brazilian state of Roraima meeting with Brazilian Chancellor Ernesto Araújo.
Forum reported that Pompeo said a controversial statement: “We must get him out of there,” referring to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
The US had imposed sanctions on Venezuela terming it as one of “two nations it has identified as America’s greatest enemies,” the other one being Iran.
The US Justice Department had indited Maduro and several of his high ranking officials in the government of drug trafficking and money laundering. The Trump administration had also offered a $15 million bounty for his arrest.
The political standoff in Venezuala is fuelled by the US as Juan Guaidó, Maduro’s rival has Trump’s support and is considered as the head of the state by the US.
Analysts have seen Pompeo’s visit to South American nations including Brazil as a way to gain support from countries bordering Venezuela to push support for Juan Guaidó, that Washington considers the leader of Venezuela.
In response to the provocation, Venezuela increased its military presence on the border, where an additional contingent of Venezuelan and Russian military arrived, reported Infobae.
The Russian soldiers arrived wearing the uniform of the Venezuelan army.
Infobae published photographs claiming that they depict Venezualian and Russian soldiers. Reportedly, both the armies are conducting exercises on the border in anticipation of aggression from Brazil.
The report further said that the officials of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces have assured their subordinates that the visit of the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to the state of Roraima, had the main objective of overthrowing Nicolás Maduro and that therefore measures have been taken to protect the territory, which justifies the presence of the Russian military.