Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Venezuela receives K-8 trainer planes from China
Venezuela has received its first shipment of six Chinese-made K-8 trainer planes. The K-8s will be used to train Venezuelan pilots, as well as intercepting drug traffickers who use Venezuela as a stop-off point to take Colombian cocaine to the US.
President Hugo Chavez attended the plane-delivery ceremony, which was held at an air base in the city of Barquisimeto. He thanked China for delivering the advanced planes, saying the country will receive 12 more such planes later this year.
Chavez said Venezuela will use them to train pilots and defend the country from external or internal threats. Venezuela has been under a US arms embargo since 2006. It relies mainly on Russia for the import of weapons and other military hardware.