Iran, Russia, China to Conduct Joint Drills in Venezuela in August

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Iran, Russia, and China are setting the stage for a series of joint military drills in Latin America, and Venezuela is set to host the drills on its soil in August, a report by the Center for a Secure Free Society (SFS) said.

Tehran, Moscow, Beijing, and Caracas will not be the only participants, as nine other nations will “preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the SFS report read.

The Sniper Frontier competition is aimed at bringing together the allied forces of the various countries together to participate in the International Army Games, Russia’s largest multinational military exercise.

“The VRIC nations are getting ready to make a loud statement that the region is ready to embrace the multipolar force,” the report further added.

The SFS also claimed that there were signs that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was boosting its presence in Latin America as part of the drills.

In a bid to legitimize the claims made about Latin America, the report highlighted how Iran and Venezuela were increasing their military and economic ties, as well as how Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega renewed a military deal with Russia that “authorizes Russian troops, planes, and ships to patrol [the country’s] borders and conduct joint military exercises.”

The military pact between Managua and Moscow was renewed in light of the Ukraine war, which highlights that Russia still prioritizes its alliances with Latin America despite the mounting pressure it is facing.

China also inked last month several economic bilats with Latin American countries, making calls to Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Ecuador as it seeks to upgrade the infrastructure of various countries in the continent, such as Argentina.

The report comes just two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country could help shield Venezuela’s economy from the continuous US attempts to undermine it given that Washington had frozen overseas assets for both Venezuela and Russia.

At a press conference in Moscow, after Russia had hosted Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faria, Lavrov declared that “we know how determined the Americans and their allies were and still are to undermine the Venezuelan economy. We can already see that these plans will not succeed. The Venezuelan economy is demonstrating the ability to withstand this pressure. Of course, we will help it in any way we can.”

Al Mayadeen