The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a statement on Monday rejecting what it calls “recent Russian military incursion into Venezuelan territory”.
There are reports that over the weekend, Flightradar 24, a flight tracking site, showed the flight path of what it listed as a Russian airforce plane headed to Caracas.
A Venezuelan official later said the aircraft arrived in Caracas as part of ongoing military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela.
But the OAS statement issued on Monday afternooon said such activities were “not authorized by the National Assembly, as required by the Venezuelan Constitution, and which was done in support of a government that has been declared illegitimate”.
The head of the OAS Secretariat Luis Almagro has been repeatedly calling for Maduro to step down and for there to be fresh elections in the country, citing humn rights violations, political corruption and fiscal mismanagement.
The council has held referenda seeking a majority vote to expell the South American country from the OAS and to approve more economic and political sanctions on the administration of Nicolas Maduro, which is being touted as illegitimate.
But the votes have been split with countries like Canada and the United States wanting to see sanctions imposed while most Caribbean countrires who depend of Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil programme, opposed.
“The presence of military personnel and military transport constitutes a harmful act to Venezuelan sovereignty,” the OAS statement on Monday said.
“The foreign military personnel are an instrument of repressive intimidation in the context of a democratic transition led by the interim President Juan Guaidó.
“As previously stated in a declaration (E-080/18) and verbal note (OSG-555/18) of the General Secretariat, this military mission violates the Venezuelan Constitution by not having been authorized by the National Assembly, as required by Article 187 paragraph 11.
“It is unacceptable that a foreign government engages in military cooperation programs with a usurping regime that has been declared illegitimate by resolutions and Inter-American law, which also threatens hemispheric peace and security.”