|Antonov AN-124 cargo plane on the ground in Venezuela|
Amid multiple reports that the United States intends to institute broad-based sanctions against Venezuela, a Russian Antonov 124 cargo plane, and a Russian Air Force Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet landed in Venezuela. Eyewitnesses stated to European media that approximately one hundred Russian soldiers deplaned, and thirty five metric tons of military equipment was unloaded from the cargo plane.
Whether this is the first step in Russian reinforcement of President Maduro's regime is impossible to tell, but the recent visit of Russian bombers to Venezuela signaled that Russia was increasing its direct support, to prop up Maduro's failing popular support, or to deter a regime change.
|Russian Air Force aircraft in Venezuela|
Meanwhile, the recent OFAC sanctions upon BANDES, Venezuela's government development bank, and it subsidiaries, most likely means more sanctions are in the works against Venezuela; compliance officers whose bank clients are still engaged in international trade with Venezuelan companies should monitor the developing situation closely, especially the US Treasury sanctions website.