Chavez welcomes the Russian fleet (Updated)
Churuguara, Falcon State, Venezuela, 17 August 2008. During his TV Show Alo Presidente No 317 today, President Chavez welcomed the possible visit of a Russian fleet to Venezuelan maritime territory as suggested by Dimitri Medvedev . Were a Russian fleet to visit the Caribbean on friendly terms, it could pay a visit at Puerto Cabello or la Guaira ports, Chavez added. He also hinted Venezuela currently ponders on the possible purchase of Russian submarines to protect its maritime frontiers. Chavez explained that Russia has turned into a secure provider of arms and military equipment after the US decline to continue its supply to his government. Such American "embargo" has forced Venezuela into buying from Russia, Chavez added. Commenting on the current Russian- Georgia crisis, Chavez stated that President Mijáil Saakashvili was a US puppet.
During the TV Show, Chavez also announced the launching of a Venezuelan-Chinese satellite on 1 November 2008. Chavez is expected to pay another visit to China in September to buy K8 military planes. Both China and Russia are strategic partners of Venezuela.
The Bush administration declined to continued honouring the bilateral agreements on arms sales between Caracas and Washington. In addition, it became the stronger provider of arms to Bogota under Plan Colombia. Such situation ingnited a regional arms race. In the three years, Venezuela has bought Russian arms totalling more than 2,000 millions US dollars or 24 Caza planes, 30 Sujoi, 50 helicopters and 100,00 AK-103 riffles.
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