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Speaking of Intent — Why Now?
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Speaking of Intent

This isn’t good: Venezuela says U.S. plane breached airspace

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. regrets any “accidental infringement” of Venezuelan airspace by a U.S. plane over the weekend, the State Department said Monday, but a Venezuelan official called the breach intentional.

The pilot “recognized his error and contacted a Venezuela tower to acknowledge that,” said Tom Casey, spokesman for the U.S. State Department.

“This is simply an issue where an error was made and acknowledged at the time,” Casey said.

However, at a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Defense Minister Gustavo Rangel Briceno said Venezuela believes that the U.S. military intentionally breached the country’s airspace, adding that the U.S. ambassador will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry to explain the incident.

While acknowledging that the Navy pilot told air traffic controllers at Venezuela’s main Maiquetia airport that he “wasn’t aware of his location,” Rangel Briceno said that “we believe that that’s not the case.”

“We believe that this was a conscious action on the part of the United States Navy, that it’s no more that another link in the chain of provocations that they want to ensnare our country in,” Rangel Briceno said.

It would probably be more believable if that leaders of the coup against Chavez weren’t frequent visitors at the White House, and if the aircraft hadn’t been in an air traffic control area being tracked by ground radar during the flight.

I’m having a real hard time believing, with the recent history of US-Venezuelan relations, that a US military aircraft just accidentally wandered into Venezuelan airspace. If your nav systems go down near “unfriendly territory”, you abort the mission and return to base.


1 Kryten42 { 05.19.08 at 9:13 pm }

LOL I wouldn’t trust either to tell the truth about the incident. *shrug* 😀

A agree with your comment Bryan. There are specific rules a pilot follows, and no pilot flying near Venezuelan airspace would be ‘knuck’ (RAAF slang for a knucklehead pilot, probably borrowed from WW2 US pilots). Or a nugget (I think they call a newbie pilot in the USN). 🙂

Yeah… more to this than meets the eye.

2 Bryan { 05.19.08 at 9:34 pm }

What would be the point of continuing a “surveillance mission” with a faulty navigation system? If you spotted something worth investigating, you wouldn’t be able to give an accurate location.

I admit my bias, almost all of the local gasoline comes from Venezuela and i would appreciate it being available if I have to leave because of something nasty coming in from the Gulf.

Chavez is not a nice person, but they are helping him stay in power with this stupidity, the same way they helped Castro stay in power long after his “use by” date. For many historical reasons the US is not popular, nor trusted in Central and South America.