Nicolas Maduro accuses U.S. of sending spy plane to Venezuelan summit

CARACAS, Venezuela, Sept. 21 (UPI) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the United States of violating Venezuela’s airspace by sending a spy plane to 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

During his weekly In Contact with Maduro televised address Tuesday, Maduro said he would send Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez to the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly in New York City, where she will formally denounce the alleged airspace violation.

“From the Principal Theater of Caracas, the head of state rejected the interference of an airplane type DASH-8, belonging to the United States Coast Guard, during the performance of the international meeting,” Maduro’s presidential press said in a statement.

“Venezuela has to defend with dignity and clarity, very strongly,” Maduro said Tuesday.

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Maduro’s regime has been criticized for hosting the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela’s Margarita Island. The opposition-controlled National Assembly said Maduro spent more than $120 million to host the summit though fewer than a dozen world leaders attended the event.

Venezuela is going through an economic crisis, which was exacerbated by a fall in oil prices, that has led to a shortage of basic goods — including food and medicine. In the Miranda state, where Caracas is located, a recent study found 17 percent of people feed themselves by going through garbage.

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