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U.S. will supply Venezuela with F-16 parts

November 16, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The United States will comply with a 22-year-old contract to supply replacement parts to F-16 jets owned by Venezuela, U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield said yesterday.

FAV F-16s at SVPR Puerto Ordaz Airport, Base Aerea Tactica Avanzada Apolinar Mendez on May 25th, 2004. [Photo by Iván Peña Nesbit]

Venezuela's government had complained that the U.S. recently pressured foreign countries not to supply parts to the country. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had threatened to sell the planes to China or Cuba.

Chavez also has accused the United States of breaching an agreement to supply parts for Venezuela's U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets. On that point, Brownfield said the United States has upheld the contract.

"For more than 20 years, the United States has offered replacement parts for the F-16 planes," Brownfield said.