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Venezuela's Chavez welcomes Russian warships

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Maikeru-sama, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Nov 25, 6:37 PM (ET)
    Venezuela's Chavez welcomes Russian warships
    By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER

    LA GUAIRA, Venezuela (AP) - Russian warships sailed into port in Venezuela on Tuesday in a show of strength as Moscow seeks to counter U.S. influence in Latin America. Russia's first such deployment in the Caribbean since the Cold War is timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Venezuela, the first ever by a Russian president.

    Russian sailors dressed in black-and-white uniforms lined up along the bow of the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko as it docked in La Guaira, near Caracas, and Venezuelan troops greeted them with cannons in a 21-gun salute. Two support vessels also docked, and the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, Russia's largest navy ship, anchored offshore.

    Chavez, basking in the support of a powerful ally and traditional U.S. rival, wants Russian help to build a nuclear reactor, invest in oil and natural gas projects and bolster his leftist opposition to U.S. influence in the region.

    He also wants weapons - Venezuela has bought more than $4 billion in Russian arms, including Sukhoi fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, and more deals for Russian tanks or other weaponry may be discussed after Medvedev arrives Wednesday.

    Russia's ambitions in Latin America, however, may be checked by global events. Both Venezuela and Russia are feeling the pinch of slumping oil prices, and their ability to be major benefactors for like-minded leaders is in doubt given the pressures of the world's financial crisis.

    The deployment of the naval squadron is widely seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over the U.S. decision to send warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its battles with Russia, and over U.S. plans for a European missile-defense system.

    But U.S. officials mocked the show of force.

    "Are they accompanied by tugboats this time?" U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack joked to reporters in Washington. He noted that Russia's navy is but a shadow of its Soviet-era fleet.

    "I don't think there's any question about ... who the region looks to in terms of political, economic, diplomatic and as well as military power," McCormack said. "If the Venezuelans and the Russians want to have, you know, a military exercise, that's fine. But we'll obviously be watching it very closely."

    When Russia sent two strategic bombers to Venezuela in September, some drew comparisons to the Soviet Union's deployments to Cuba during the Cold War.

    But both countries have shown signs of trying to engage President-elect Barack Obama, and Chavez told reporters that it's ludicrous to invoke the Cold War to describe these naval exercises.

    "It's not a provocation. It's an exchange between two free countries," Chavez said Monday night.

    The ship maneuvers inside Venezuela's economic zone in the eastern Caribbean will begin Dec. 1, enabling sailors to practice reconnaissance, anti-drug patrols, anti-terrorism and search and rescue operations. Rear Adm. Luis Morales said the training, including anti-aircraft exercises with Venezuela's newly bought Sukhoi fighter jets, will not involve live ammunition.

    The maneuvers "should be viewed largely as a propaganda exercise," said analyst Anna Gilmour at Jane's Intelligence Review.

    "Pragmatic Russian policy suggests that it will content itself with a brief high-profile visit, rather than a longer-term deployment that could cause severe tensions with the U.S., at a time when Russia may be looking to re-engage with the new administration," she said.

    Medvedev's tour to Peru, Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba was planned before the financial crisis, and Russia must now downsize its ambitions in Latin America because its pockets are no longer so deep, said Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs Magazine.

    "Russia will have to put off big projects like the construction of a gas pipeline across South America," Lukyanov said. The proposed natural gas pipeline is Chavez's brainchild, a controversial and ambitious plan for which he has explored Russian investment.

    But Russia still has an economic interest in selling more weapons and boosting business in Latin America, and Venezuela can help "open the doors," noted Venezuelan political scientist Ricardo Sucre Heredia.

    "It's a win-win relationship for the two countries," Sucre said. "Russia gains in terms of its international power and its presence, and Venezuela gains in terms of having an ally."

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  2. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Chavez, is clearly someone that the US will have to watch closely given his ties with Iran, Cuba and now Russia.
  3. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Please save us from another Carteresque Presidency. I sincerely hope that President Elect Obama will stand up to these flatulating butt heads.
  4. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Talking to some members of the US Military on another board, they viewed this simply as a "Dog and Pony Show", with Russia just trying to poke us in the ribs. They stated they too had done these types of trips a couple of occasions.

    However, this is extremely dangerous as you have a very powerful country that has shown hostility towards us making new friends in our neck of the woods.

    I think one of the ways you neutralize Venezeula is by supporting countries around them with Aid, cush trade deals etc etc.

    Also, this is why I was so against the Iraq War. Hugo Chavez is much more dangerous than Saddam Hussein. He sits on a crap load of oil, just made himself dictator for life, is openly courting very real enemies of the United States and worse, the guy is only right down the street.

    The Pentagon just released a study warning Barack Obama that if he didn't make MAJOR cuts then they could have trouble funding things they absolutely need.

    Like I stated, let's slowly wind down our presence in all of these countries, reduce our military size to a reasonable level but keep pouring money into research and development.

    Policing the WORLD and worse yet, borrowing from foreign countries to do so is really going to do us in.
  5. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt
  6. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    Good god, i hope the world is not going to get caught up in another 'cold war'.
  7. JiggsCasey

    JiggsCasey Benched

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    No, try a hot war...
  8. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    "Watch closely"? We should have already put him in the ground.
  9. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    For what exactly?
  10. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    For preventative measures.
  11. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    For what? He has yet to do anything except flap his lips with anti-American babble. He ties to Iran and now with Russia should be a warning but until he actually does something the US hands are tied.
  12. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    I guess we should also take out Iran, N. Korea, Syria, Russia, and maybe China as well. Heck, lets just replace every leader of those countries with some ex US presidents. :rolleyes:
  13. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    That would be a good start.



    Answer this... where would we be today if we had taken out Saddam Hussein 10-15 years ago?
  14. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    When some people wrongly label all Americans as 'Ugly Americans', this is the kind of attitude they base it on.


    [/quote]

    Simple answer is that we don't know. But chances are, we would still be there fighting the same kind of war and pouring the same type and amount of resources as we are now.
  15. Route 66

    Route 66 Active Member

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    I'd rather be an ugly American and live in the land of the free.
  16. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    So your first sentence says "We don't know".


    Then you say we'd probably be in teh same spot.


    Yeah, you're full of crap.


    Thousands of Iraqi men and women would still be alive today if Hussein were dead 10-15 years ago.



    And when people refers to Americans as weak minded pansies, they're looking directly at people like you.
  17. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing wrong with being proud to be an American, you should be.

    But there is a difference between that and what Rack suggested.
  18. JiggsCasey

    JiggsCasey Benched

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    What a stereotype. Are you of war age, chickenhawk?

    Typical LeMay style foreign policy. Let's just take out every leader who doesn't do our bidding and bow to our demends. That's genius. I mean, really.

    Like another poster said, this is why the world has grown tired of America, and is advocating and enabling our imminent collapse. But, never fear. With your goofy line of thinking, we can always bomb everyone into submission.
  19. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the answer is still we don't know, neither you or I. But if we were to use history as a reference, that's how these types of situation usually play out.

    I've never heard Americans referred to as weak minded pansies, that's a first for me. But even so, just because some are not willing to go charging in every single country, it doesn't make them pansies. These things are not as black and white as you make them out to be. Not everybody falls in the extreme category.
  20. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Come on guys, it's smart to respond to every provocation with all-out military assaults, just ask the leaders of the now defunct Austro-Hungarian and Soviet empires.

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