A U.S. spy plane violated Venezuelan airspace twice this month, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday. The embattled leader also said that the breach will be protested to the U.S. government.
Maduro said Venezuelan military detected a Boeing 707 E-3 Sentry aircraft over guarded airspace on May 11 and May 13. He added that the E3 Sentry was used by the U.S. “to support communications of armed groups in war zones or to prepare actions to disable electronic equipment [of the] government, the armed forces or the economy,” according to Sputnik.
“Our military aviation detected the illegal entry, for unusual espionage tasks, of the [plane], which is an airborne early warning control center system that has all the mechanisms for espionage,” Maduro reportedly said.
On Saturday, Maduro called for a state of emergency, which is renewable after 60 days. Venezuela is currently reeling under political and economic turmoil. Maduro also ordered military exercises to prepare for “any scenario,” including a foreign invasion. The South American leader has blamed Washington of orchestrating a coup in Venezuelan capital Caracas to overthrow his government.
Last Thursday, Maduro condemned the impeachment of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, calling it a U.S.-backed “coup.”
“I have no doubt that behind this coup is the label ‘Made in USA,’” Maduro said at the time. “Powerful oligarchic, media and imperial forces have decided to finish with the progressive forces, the popular revolutionary leaderships of the left in the continent.”