Russian air force personnel stand in front of a Tupolev Tu-160 long-range strategic bomber upon landing at Simon Bolivar International Airport, north of Caracas, Venezuela, on Dec. 10, 2018. Venezuela and Russia will hold joint air force exercises for the defense of the South American country, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino announced on Monday. Padrino, whose government often accuses the United States of plotting military action against it, made the announcement as he welcomed about 100 Russian pilots and other personnel upon their arrival in Caracas aboard various military aircraft.
Russia is reportedly considering a long-term military presence in Venezuela. According to a Dec. 11 report from Russian paper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that cited anonymous sources, Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers could be based in Venezuela. The report says that Russian and Venezuelan officials agreed to put the planes at a Venezuelan military base on the island of La Orchila in the Caribbean Sea, where Russian advisers will reportedly be dispatched this week....
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