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13 May, 2019 20:05

Chinese ‘humanitarian aid’ cargo plane spotted landing in Venezuela – reports

Chinese ‘humanitarian aid’ cargo plane spotted landing in Venezuela – reports

China has sent another shipment of humanitarian aid to Venezuela, reports claim, as flight tracker data and footage from the ground show a cargo plane landed. Beijing sent tons of medicine to the sanctions-hit country in April.

The Suparna Airlines (formerly Yangtze River Express) flight reportedly left Shanghai on Monday, making a stopover in Madrid before arriving at the Maiquetía Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas. Suparna Airlines was established in 2003 and is the second-largest cargo airline in China after China Cargo Airlines.

Pedro Mario Burelli, the former director of Petroleos de Venezuela, first highlighted the shipment on Twitter, posting a screenshot of the flight path from the FlightRadar24 website. According to the flight-tracking website, the flight which originated in Shanghai landed in Caracas at 1:09pm local time.

Some unconfirmed video footage of the aircraft also appeared on Twitter on Monday afternoon. Venezuelan journalist Oliver Fernández tweeted a video of what he said was the plane being unloaded at the Simón Bolívar airport on Monday afternoon.

Last month, China dismissed claims that it sent 120 soldiers and military supplies to the country along with 65 tons of medicine after an unconfirmed photo of Chinese and Venezuelan military surfaced along with the footage of aid being delivered to Caracas.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said last month that Beijing opposes “external interference” in Venezuela’s crisis and dismissed reports of Chinese military involvement as “simply not true.” Shuang advocated a solution through “peaceful dialogue.”

Also on rt.com China refutes reports of sending troops to Venezuela to help Maduro

The crisis-stricken Venezuela is in dire need of medical supplies – the situation only made worse by the barrage of US sanctions that only keep adding up. US President Donald Trump’s administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s “interim president” in January and has been pushing hard for the ouster of elected president Nicolas Maduro, using threats of military action and increasingly punitive economic sanctions which experts have said are both illegal and deadly.

Also on rt.com Top economists & UN experts condemn US sanctions on Venezuela. Not newsworthy enough for the media?

Washington may be gearing up for something more aggressive than peaceful dialogue, however. Top Pentagon officials met earlier this month to discuss “military options” for Venezuela and Guaido has recently advocated “coordination” with the US military to overthrow Maduro.

The White House was angered by the deployment of Russian military personnel to Venezuela in March, carried out under the terms of a 2001 cooperation treaty between Moscow and Caracas. US President Donald Trump said at the time that Russia “must get out” of Venezuela.

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