Spain contributes to the modernization of Venezuelan Army tanks despite the EU-imposed arms embargo, the newspaper El País reported.
The interministerial board that controls exports of military equipment approved the sale to the Government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of spare parts for battle tanks for 20 million euros in the first half of 2018, the Spanish newspaper said on Monday.
Although the authorization came after November 14, 2017, when the European Union (EU) regulation that prohibits supplying such material to Caracas came into force, government sources have declared to the media that there is no irregularity since the contract was signed before that embargo.
The pieces sold by Spain would be used for the modernization of 86 French-made AMX-30 battle tanks acquired in 1970 and belonging to the 11th Armored Brigade of the Bolivarian Army, based in the state of Zulía, in the northwest of the country, close to the border with Colombia, with which Venezuela maintains a tense relation.
The program of modernization of these tanks that the Venezuelan Army carries out is valued at around 70 million euros, and involves the installation of computer and electronic equipment.
In the first semester of this year, according to the Statistics on Exports of Defense Material of the Secretary of State for Trade, Spain sold to Venezuela pieces of military vehicles for 6216 euros.
Much more important, however, was that the interministerial board approved a license to export components of battle tanks to Caracas for 20 million euros. This figure is almost ten times higher than all sales of Spanish weapons to Venezuela in 2017 (3.5 million) or 2016 (2.6 million).
The Maduro government calls the sanctions against them “illegal” and criticizes the EU measure for following decisions that obey the “erratic and interventionist” policy of the United States against the Venezuelan people. According to Caracas, the best help to solve the current situation would be to lift the embargoes.
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Translated by JRE