Will the European Union embargo limit Venezuela’s military capabilities or hinder Russia-Venezuela military relations?
December 12, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos – Translated from Mision Verdad
CARACAS, Venezuela – The November announcement of European Union sanctions on Venezuela comes at a political moment marked by the consolidation of the government of President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, after defeating a supposed coup d’état through a color revolution, a path that has been successfully experimented in other global scenarios (the most recent in Ukraine in 2014), and achieve an important political and electoral victory in the regional elections of October 15.
The vacuum of power in the Venezuelan opposition has caused decision makers in the international arena regarding the Venezuelan conflict (read the United States and the EU) to take the offensive against Chavez with their own hands.
In recent months, leaders of Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular have sought to sanction and block the Venezuelan state economically and financially. In any case, this has been the only achievement of the antipolitical operators of the Venezuelan opposition: to promote foreign actions against the vital areas of Venezuela.
For this reason, the wave of anti-Venezuelan sanctions and measures both in the Latin American region and in other continents is gaining momentum, since in the domestic scenario the political order is imposed over the actors and factors of the coup.
The low cost of the European embargo
The information also highlights that, together with the sanctions and some “restrictive measures” not specified for Venezuelan officials, supposedly responsible for “repression” of the citizenry, an arms embargo would be applied against Venezuela.
Although some companies of British and Dutch origin have traded in the last two decades with Venezuela in the military field, especially in items such as radars and sights, or materials of ordinary use by the public force (tear gas bombs, etc.), these Companies have been strongly criticized for allegedly violating EU laws because of their commercial involvement with Venezuela. However, in recent years Russia has been strengthening its role as Venezuela’s main military partner, to the detriment of supplies from the US and less from Europe during the second half of the 20th century.
It would not be a surprise if this commercial veto already had time to apply de facto and without much media noise. The Armed Forces of the EU are subject to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an entity financed mainly by the US government, which invests 3.61% of its GDP according to 2016 data. US arms companies, Raytheon case or Lockheed Martin, are the main exporters of military equipment to the EU countries, so their dependence describes their little room for maneuver and decision-making capacity in this area.
It is precisely the Russian Federation, Venezuela’s largest military partner, whose alliance has expanded over the past 15 years, which minimizes the scope of the future arms embargo that the EU plans to make official against Venezuela. Russia, and China to a lesser extent, serve as a counterweight to prevent the country’s military capabilities from being affected in the medium term by these sanctions.
Military relationship Russia-Venezuela
The alliance between Russia and Venezuela is not only of an energetic-political nature, but also strengthens militarily.
For 2012, Venezuela was the fourth world client of the Russian military industry. Relationship that has been increasing.
Military cooperation, in monetary figures, has more than 11 billion dollars in various systems of missiles, defense, land to land, land to air, artillery systems, air defense, rifles, helicopters, warplanes and logistic equipment The commercial exchange between both countries reached its peak in 2013, when it reached 2 thousand 450 million dollars.
The increase in military cooperation between the two countries has been growing since 2000, with the increase in Russian exports in that area to Venezuela, as shown by the above infographic.
This coalition is considered from the military to be dissuasive in relation to the threats of President Donald Trump, when he said that the “military option” on the part of the US against Venezuela was not ruled out. “Gesture” that causes suspicion before this announcement of embargo, because it seeks to block the acquisition of military equipment to Venezuela just when a foreign power like the US threatens to use its firepower.
In fact, the Chief of Staff of the US Army considers that Russia has the advantage over the US “in the capacity of its artillery, tanks and ground systems of direct and indirect attack in Europe.” In addition, the geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar cites military experts, who say that the Russians are advancing the US military systems for four generations. They are not minor data.
Within the framework of Russian military power, the State takes actions to defend national sovereignty and to militarily deter any foreign actions. The state-owned Compañía Anónima Venezolana de Industrias Militares (Cavim) consolidated technical-military agreements with the Russian companies Rosoboronexport and Technopromexport, which includes cooperation in infrastructure construction and technology transfer, purchase of equipment and training plans in the area.
With Rosoboronexport, the Venezuelan State agreed to the construction of two factories located in Maracay, Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles, the latest model of this type of weapon with great prestige in military matters. The company Rosoboronexport – one of the main Russian military companies – is also in charge of producing the hardware of the anti-aircraft system S-400, today considered the most effective weapon of this line at a global level, to the detriment of the US THAAD produced by Lockheed Martin.
In turn, Minister Padrino López reported this October that Venezuela is interested in receiving Russian submarines in the framework of bilateral cooperation between both countries.
In addition, the installation of a Russian helicopter maintenance and repair center in Acarigua, Portuguesa state, and the first armored maintenance and repair complex exported by this Russian company for the manufacture of field artillery and tactical vehicles. It will be located in Fort Paramacay, in the city of Valencia, Carabobo state. This was announced at a meeting held by the Minister of Defense, General Vladimir Padrino López, and the deputy director of this important company, Sergei Goreslavsky, at the end of last October.
All these data and details show, then, that the arms embargo announced by the EU would not make a major dent in the Venezuelan military, even paradoxically strengthen the military alliance with Russia as an immediate response to these sanctions. Exactly the opposite effect that they seek to generate.