A U.S. plane caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela in early February seems implicated in CIA ‘black ops’.
A U.S. plane was caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela in early February. Now it seems that two executives at the company that chartered the aircraft have been tied to an air cargo company that aided the CIA in the rendition of alleged terrorists to “black site” centers for interrogation.
The revelation comes as Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has rejected a U.S. “humanitarian aid” convoy over concerns that it could contain weapons meant to arm the country’s U.S.-backed opposition.
Last Tuesday, Venezuelan authorities announced that 19 rifles, 118 magazines, 90 radios and six iPhones had been smuggled into the country via a U.S. plane that had flew out of Miami. Venezuelan authorities blamed the United States government for the illicit cargo, accusing it of seeking to arm U.S.-funded opposition groups in the country in order to topple the current Maduro government.
A subsequent investigation into the plane responsible for the weapons caché conducted by McClatchyDC did not make the media spotlight despite the fact that it uncovered information clearly showing that the plane responsible for the shipment had been making an unusually high number of trips to Venezuela and neighboring Colombia over the past few weeks.
Steffan Watkins, an Ottawa-based analyst, told McClatchy, that the plane, which is operated by U.S. air cargo company 21 Air, had been “flying between Philadelphia and Miami and all over the place, but all continental U.S.” during all of last year. However, Watkins noted that “all of a sudden in January, things changed” when the plane began making trips to Colombia and Venezuela on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day.
According to Watkins’ analysis, this single plane had conducted 40 round-trip flights from Miami International Airport to Caracas and Valencia — where the smuggled weapons had been discovered — in Venezuela, as well as to Bogota and Medellin in Colombia in just the past month.
Publicly available flight radar information shows that the plane, although it has not returned to Venezuela since the discovery of its illicit cargo, has continued to travel to Medellin, Colombia, as recently as the first part of February.