Tags: LT | Venezuela | Russian Plane

Surprise Arrival of Russia Plane to Venezuela Fuels Intrigue

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:38 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The surprise arrival of a giant Russian passenger plane to Venezuela amid a wave of anti-government unrest is fueling intrigue on social media and charges by the opposition that President Nicolas Maduro's administration is looking to shuttle abroad what's left of the country's depleted gold reserves.

The Boeing 777 plane, with a capacity for 400 passengers, belongs to Russia's Nordwind Airlines and arrived Monday night. It could still be seen Wednesday morning parked at Maiquetia airport outside the capital.

A Nordwind representative confirmed the plane's arrival but wouldn't comment on who chartered the plane, what it is carrying or its itinerary.

Opposition lawmaker Jose Guerra, a former central bank director, said sources inside the monetary authority informed him the plane was hired to transport 20 metric tons of gold comprising about 15 percent of the metal reserves held in Caracas.

"This needs to be taken with utmost seriousness," said Guerra in a speech to lawmakers.

"These reserves don't belong to Calixto Ortega, they belong to Venezuela," he added, referring to the central bank's president, a close ally of Maduro.

There was no immediate response from Maduro's government.

Russia has led a group of Washington's adversaries who have come to Maduro's defense, accusing the U.S. of calling for a coup after it rushed to recognize Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled congress, when he declared himself interim president a week ago. Guaido said Venezuela's constitution gave him the authority to assume the presidency on a temporary basis and call elections, alleging that Maduro took office for a second term that he won in elections widely considered illegitimate.

Russia is a major creditor to Maduro and a supplier of weaponry. State-controlled oil company Rosneft has invested heavily in Venezuela's oil fields.

It is the first time the aircraft is believed to have flown to Venezuela. Flight data shows it normally flies inside Russia and to southeast Asia.

Associated Press writer Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report from Moscow

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
The surprise arrival of a giant Russian passenger plane to Venezuela amid a wave of anti-government unrest is fueling intrigue on social media and charges by the opposition that President Nicolas Maduro's administration is looking to shuttle abroad what's left of the...
LT,Venezuela,Russian Plane
330
2019-38-30
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:38 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved