Venezuela got into a debt crisis. To pay for jet fighters and tanks, Venezuela borrowed $10 billion from Russia. It is unlikely that the country can actually pay back this amount. The EP-3E Aries II is a US plane that was designed to fly over international airspace and observe around itself. This plane was flying over the Caribbean waters just north of Venezuela on July 19. A Russian-built Su-30MK2 fighter flew close to the surveillance plane. It sent warnings that the flight plan was not reported to the Maquieta Flight Information Region.
The Su-30 is a fast attack jet. It is arguably the most effective jet fighter currently in service in South America. It can be compared to the America F-15E Strike Eagle. The MK2 model has improved sensors to enhance its anti-ship capabilities.
Caracas (capital and largest city of Venezuela) imported 24 Su-30MK2s between 2006 and 2012 at a cost of $2.2 billion. Caracas could only afford the purchases by taking out 3 loans between 2009-2014 totaling $10 billion (extended by Moscow). Venezuela has not been able to make its payments. The Venezuelan National Army purchased 192 T-72B1V main battle tanks and 130 BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles. Venezuela’s T-72s outgun and outnumber the armor possessed by most other armies in South America. Colombia, for example, has no tanks at all. The Army also acquired a large pack of Russian self-propelled artillery including thirty-six BM-21 and BM-30 multiple-rocket launchers, and forty-eight turreted 2S19 Msta self-propelled howitzers. Russia has also delivered dozens of Mi-17 transport helicopters and Mi-35 Hind night-attack-capable helicopter gunships.
Brazil's foreign minister talked about the divisive question of Venezuela on Friday (July 26) as he launched a meeting of senior officials preparing for a BRICS nation summit, urging his counterparts from Russia, China, India and South Africa to hear Venezuelans' "cry for freedom."