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Major Letdown: US Cannot Invade Venezuela Because Russians Are Already There

Preempting the preemptors

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A Russian military contingent that arrived in Venezuela over the weekend, drawing U.S. condemnation, is believed by the U.S. government to be made up of special forces including “cybersecurity personnel,” a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was still assessing the Russian deployment, which Washington has called a “reckless escalation” of the situation in Venezuela.

The U.S. determination that the Russian contingent includes cybersecurity specialists suggests that part of their mission could be helping Maduro’s loyalists with surveillance as well as protection of the government’s cyber infrastructure.

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The Antonov-124 transport and Ilyushin-62 passenger jet landed in Caracas with 100 Russian troops and technical specialists and 35 tons of equipment. The group was led by General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, the Chief of Staff of the Russian ground forces.

Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov

I would imagine the Russian troops include a contingent of the polite green men to advise Maduro’s security forces and perhaps assist in conducting counterterrorist operations as needed against any mercenaries in country associated with Guaido and the US-backed coup attempt.

The Russians may also include specialists to train and assist the recent Venezuelan S-300 deployments at an airbase just south of Caracas.

Naturally Pompeo and Bonkers Bolton are raising holy hell about the Russian presence and making all manner of bombastic threats. It doesn’t appear they are doing this on their own.

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