The Russia connection dispatches Russian personnel to protect Venezuela’s

Published 25 January 2019

Private Russian military contractors have been dispatched by the Kremlin to Venezuela in the past few days to shore up security for President Nicolas Maduro. The Russian move appears to be in response to the recognition by the United States and most of Latin America’s countries of Juan Guaido, who declares himself as Venezuela’s interm president earlier this week. Russian sources told Reuters that the Russian contingent sent to protect Maduro is about 400 strong.

Private Russian military contractors have been dispatched by the Kremlin to Venezuela in the past few days to shore up security for President Nicolas Maduro.

The Russian move appears to be in response to the recognition by the United States and most of Latin America’s countries of Juan Guaido, who declares himself as Venezuela’s interm president earlier this week.

Fox News reports that Russian sources told Reuters that the Russian contingent sent to protect Maduro is about 400 strong.

Russia has supported Maduro’s socialist government with billions of dollars, and vowed tro stand by him in the face of growing opposition to his rule.

The private security personnel belong to the Wagner group, a large, private Russian security firm operated by a close ally of Vladimir Putin. The Wagner group has carried out many missions on behalf of the Kremlin, including in Syria, Ukraine, and currently in South Sudan.

Some of the Wagner soldiers flew to Caracas from Russia, while others made their way to Venezuela from a small base the operates outside Havana, Cuba.

The Cuban government also supports Maduro, as do the governments of Turkey, China, Iran, Syria, Bolivia, Mexico, and Nicaragua.

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