- Venezuela is considering buying Russian and Belarusian weapons to supply to Colombian militant groups, Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Thursday.
- Venezuela's ability to buy weapons is unlikely at a time when Maduro is struggling to provide basic basic needs to the people due to sanctions and problems with the country's refineries.
- The United States and dozens of other countries do not recognize his government.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in response to remarks by his Colombian counterpart that Venezuela was considering buying Iranian missiles, described the idea as “good” and called on his defense minister to negotiate with Iran. On Saturday described, the Venezuelan President called the purchase of missiles from Iran as a “good idea”.
According to Reuters, Colombian President Ivan Duque had previously stated that Venezuela was considering buying missiles as it expanded its relations with Iran. “It had not occurred to me, it had not occurred to us,” Maduro said during a televised broadcast.
“Padrino, what a good idea, to speak with Iran to see what short, medium and long-range missiles they have, and if it is possible, given the great relations we have with Iran.” Nicolas Maduro told Secretary of Defense Vladimir Padrino during a cabinet meeting broadcast live on Venezuelan television. “We will explore this possibility with Iran.”
In addition to Iranian missiles, Venezuela is considering buying Russian and Belarusian weapons to supply to Colombian militant groups, Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Thursday, citing intelligence sources.
Venezuela’s ability to buy weapons is unlikely at a time when Maduro is struggling to provide basic food, medicine, and fuel to the people due to sanctions and problems with the country’s refineries.
Maduro has long been under international pressure. The United States and dozens of other countries do not recognize his government and legitimize the interim presidency of Juan Guido, the leader of the opposition.
Juan Guaido has been against Maduro for more than a year and a half. He, the leader of the “People’s Will” party, declared himself the interim president of Venezuela in January 2019. About 60 countries around the world, including the United States and Germany, recognize him as interim president of Venezuela.
Maduro recalled that for many years “our country has acquired missile systems from Russia, “not to attack anyone, but to defend ourselves from imperialist aggression.”
Iran gasoline to Venezuela
Extensive economic sanctions, as well as sanctions on Iran’s oil, on the one hand, and the spread of the Coronavirus, on the other, have led to the overproduction of gasoline in Iran’s refineries. Now, exporting gasoline to Venezuela is one of the options the Islamic Republic is pursuing to counter-sanctions.
In May of this year, Iran exported its gasoline to Venezuela to compensate for the country’s fuel shortage. The move provoked a strong reaction from the United States, which has imposed sanctions on both countries.
According to news sources, Iran is willing to send two or three petrol tankers a month to Venezuela. In this way, the Islamic Republic can sell part of its gasoline production surplus and also increase its influence in Venezuela.
Iran and Venezuela have been sanctioned by the United States. The US government intends to put pressure on Nicolas Maduro to shift the power in that country to the benefit of Juan Guido.
Venezuela, an OPEC member, is facing severe shortages of fuel and gasoline due to sanctions and the deterioration of its refinery network. The Islamic Republic of Iran has sent five tankers carrying 1.5 million barrels of gasoline to Venezuela since April. Despite this, the country still lacks fuel and gasoline.