It is the first time Russian bombers have deployed to Venezuela since 2013, according to the Defense Department.
Venezuela’s economy and healthcare system are in a state of collapse, prompting the United States to send the hospital ship USNS Comfort to South America, in part to treat Venezuelan refugees.
The Defense Department is responding to the Russian deployment by upping its rhetorical game to rival the passion shown by Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!
“As the Venezuelan government seeks Russian warplanes, the United States works alongside regional partners and international organizations to provide humanitarian aid to Venezuelans fleeing their crisis-racked nation,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. “We maintain our unwavering commitment to humanity.”
The Venezuelan people deserve better than the autocratic rule of President Nicolás Maduro, Pahon said. That is why the United States is seeking a way for Venezuela to return to democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.
“Maduro should know by now the Cuban model doesn't work for anyone, not even Cuba,” Pahon said.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.