Thursday, December 02, 2004
On this day:

Venezuela's Chavez: Arming for What?

Venezuela's President and Castro buddy Hugo Chavez was in Russia last week for talks with President Putin. The talks centered around cooperation between the two nations' oil industries. However, the two leaders also discussed military issues. Specifically, Chavez wants to buy 40 helicopters, 100,000 semiautomatic rifles, an unspecified number of anti-missile and anti-tank weapons, and as many as 50 MiG-29 fighter jets to replace its current batch of F-16's.

When they first met in 2001, Chavez and Putin declared their intent to form a strategic alliance against U.S. dominance as the world's only superpower. Since then, economic and military ties between Russia and Venezuela have grown stronger, as evidenced by last week's meeting.

U.S. officials have taken notice of the emerging relationship. One unnamed government official said following the meeting, "Let me put it this way: We shoot down MiGs."