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BRITAIN’S defence ministry today denied allegations it was involved in a plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government using a military base in Guyana to train armed militias.
The Star contacted the Ministry of Defence today regarding allegations made by the Russian Foreign Ministry which claimed to have uncovered secret British plans to arm Venezuelan refugees across the border.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that dozens of Venezuelans had arrived at a British military base in Guyana.
She said they would “undergo training in reconnaissance and sabotage teams.
“After that, they will infiltrate Venezuela, destabilise the situation there and commit various acts, including extremist and terrorist attacks.”
Britain does not have a military base in Guyana, and dismissed Russian claims it was constructing a site on an island in the mouth of the Essequibo River on the pretext of thwarting arms and drugs smugglers.
Earlier this year the Star reported on an escalation of the British military presence in the region.
Jungle training exercises in Belize and the mobilisation of warships to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, just off the coast of Venezuela earlier this year, raised concerns
In February, Britain’s air force also increased its activity in the region. The RAF released aerial photos of the Belize coastline, saying that its personnel were supporting “army exercises in Central America.”
The incidents occurred at the same time Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared British support for a right-wing coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Mr Hunt’s open calls for regime change have been egged on by the liberal British press, with the Guardian and BBC leading the charge in a “propaganda war” on Venezuela.
A Freedom of Information request by the Star earlier this year revealed that the British government has been funding opposition media organisations and “yellow unions” under the guise of supporting democracy.
The Foreign Office confirmed it was funding three “Freedom of Expression” projects in Venezuela; Consorcio Informativo (Information Collective), the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Prensa (National Union of Press Workers) and the Instituto Radiofonico Fe y Alegria (Radiophonic Institute of Faith and Joy).
All of the organisations funded by the British government are known opposition groups committed to the overthrow of the Venezuelan government and regularly produce anti-Maduro propaganda.
Despite warnings of a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela, Britain refuses to hand over around $13 billion (£10.7bn) of Venezuelan gold stored in the Bank of England.
It has bent to the demands of the US who demanded the bounty is witheld from the elected Venezuelan government and instead siphoned-off to the opposition.
An MoD spokesman told the Star: “The claims by the Russian Foreign Ministry are clear disinformation. The UK does not possess, is not building nor operates from any base in Guyana.”
Mr Maduro has long-warned of plans to oust him in a coup and assassinate him, with neighbouring Colombia viewed as a likely staging post for military intervention.
Last week seven Colombian paramilitaries were arrested near the border with an arsenal of weapons and communication devices.
The Bolivarian leader said he had uncovered a plot to kill him led by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe who planned to “enter Venezuela [with] 32 mercenaries to try to assassinate me and other leaders of the revolution.”
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