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Venezuelan F-16s could be sent to Cuba or China

November 2, 2005 (by Anonymous) - Venezuela threatens to give its F-16s to Cuba or China as the US is reluctant to sell us the spare parts. US laws strictly govern third party transfers but Chávez cautioned that "failure to perform the agreement allows for either party to waive it."

FAV F-16B block 15 #9583 with all doors open in the maintainance hanger on May 4th, 2004 [Photo by Iván Peña Nesbit]

"Therefore, we can do with those planes whatever we please. Maybe we will just send them back to them, or perhaps we will send 10 planes to Cuba, or to China, so they can have a look at the technology of these aircraft."

Any exchange of military hardware to those countries would break an agreement with the U.S. government on the transfer of technology without Washington's permission and further strain fraying ties between Venezuela and the United States.

As explained by Chávez, Venezuela has looked for spare parts elsewhere. "And they (the United States) began to exert pressure on those countries to prevent them from providing support for the F-16 maintenance."

Recently, the US government forced Israel to freeze an agreement to maintain Venezuelan F-16.

Venezuela bought two dozen F-16 jets from the United States in the 1980s.