November 26, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A group of heavily armed men wearing ski masks exchanged fire shots with Venezuelan Air Force personnel after they illegally broke into the Libertador Air Base in the city of Maracay, located 80 km from the capital city of Caracas.
Libertador is the most important Air Force base in Venezuela
, as it houses more airplanes than any other base in the country, including Venezuela's F-16s.
According to Vice-president José Vicente Rangel, who informed the public about the incident, the group composed of approximately 5 men, used UZI-style machineguns to attack the guards who detected their illegal presence. They later managed to escape.
"They crossed a barrier, there was an exchange of fire and they later escaped," said the Vice-president.
Rangel described the incident as "an act of provocation", and added that the authorities initiated "a thorough investigation of the incident". No wounded or deaths were reported.