Antigua and Barbuda has called for the Caribbean to remain a zone of peace after Russia deployed two TU-160 supersonic bombers, known as “White Swans” in Venezuela earlier this month.
“This hemisphere must remain a zone of peace. We abhor any conflict or military provocation that could lead to warfare, destabilise our region and bring harm to innocent civilian,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said on Observer Radio here Tuesday.
Last week, Guyana said it was it was “monitoring ongoing related developments in Venezuela” after the bombers arrived there a few days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The United States has criticised the decision by Moscow to send the bombers to Caracas with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, noting that Russia had sent the planes “halfway around the world.
“The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”
The United States has been critical of the Maduro-led government in the South American oil-rich country and has openly called for its removal from office.
Guyana has an ongoing border dispute with Venezuela that is likely to go before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and in a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “has been approached with regards to reports of the deployment the two TU-160 supersonic bombers” in the neighbouring country.
“The Ministry is monitoring ongoing related developments. It is important to note that military exercises are a regular feature of state relations and do not in themselves constitute a threat,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.