25 July 2019

 

Predictions

  • US-Venezuelan aerial confrontation will raise bilateral tensions, but ongoing government-opposition talks will contain domestic instability
  • Hawks in US administration will continue to press for more aggressive strategy to remove President Maduro, but significant action is unlikely
  • Negotiations between Government and opposition are unlikely to lead to significant breakthrough in next few months, meaning crisis will persist

 

Analysis

The US Military said a Venezuelan Air Force fighter jet “aggressively shadowed” a US Lockheed EP-3 signals reconnaissance aircraft and endangered its crew while the latter was on a “routine” mission over international waters in the southern Caribbean on 19 July. Venezuela’s Defence Minister, General Vladimir Padrino, countered on 20 July that his institution’s territorial monitoring systems had detected an unidentified aircraft in Venezuelan air space, and two Sukhoi Su-30s were scrambled to intercept and escort what turned out to be a US spy plane from the area. President Nicolas Maduro later said…

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