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2010-04-06

Venezuela, Russia cause concern throughout the region

By César Morales Colón for Infosurhoy.com—06/04/2010

Many ponder why Venezuela needs a nuclear program, US$5 billion in weapons

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed several deals with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez during his first trip to the Andean nation. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed several deals with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez during his first trip to the Andean nation. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – On April 2, fewer than two days after terrorists from Chechnya claimed the attacks that caused havoc in the Moscow metro, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was on a plane to Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez didn’t waste any time making Putin feel right at home in his first visit to the Andean nation. The two leaders needed about 12 hours to close several deals, including one granting Russia access to Venezuela’s rich Junín 6 oil field, a nuclear energy cooperation agreement, the offer of help for a space exploration program and, perhaps most importantly, a US$5billion arms deal.

Bolivian president Evo Morales also met with Putin in Caracas, where he requested a “relaunch” in the countries’ relationship and the “return of Russian presence” to Latin America.

Morales also requested a US$100 million loan from Russia to buy helicopters for counter-narcotics operations and a new presidential jet, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Across the continent, voices have expressed concern about the deals between Russia and Venezuela.

Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, a Colombian archbishop, said that a possible nuclear plant in Venezuela would bring “grave consequences, not only for Colombia but for other countries.”

Freddy Valera of the opposition “Acción Democrática” party denounced Putin’s visit as “an opportunity for him to sell junk to Venezuela.”

Two Russian-made M-17 and MI-26 helicopters, as well as several Sukhoi war planes, have crashed since June 2008 in Venezuela, which purchased the aircrafts in 2005.

“There is no analysis that justifies the purchase of tanks, Kalashnikovs and Sukhoi,” Valera said, as quoted by the daily newspaper El Correo del Caroní.

“We need a president who can put his feet on the ground,” Valera said, referring to Chavez’s plans of coordinating an expansion of the nation’s space program with Russia.

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3 Comments

  1. ivan 12/15/2012

    Why don’t people worry about all the military bases the United States has in several Latin American countries and all the invasion of U.S. military personnel into the Colombian army and if you’re against the 5 million dollars that Chavez is going to use to buy weapons, it must be that we want to continue to be slaves of the U.S., please more identity and more independence dear Colombians and Latin American brothers.

  2. Alejandro 03/19/2011

    WHY? WELL BECAUSE VENEZUELA IS IN AMERICA. AND RUSSIA IS IN ASIA...THE SAME THING HAPPENED WHEN THE UNITED STATES TRIED TO PUT A CONTINENTAL ANTI-MISSILE SHIELD IN EUROPE, RUSSIA DIDN'T LET IT HAPPEN. RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES WILL NEVER TRUST EACH OTHER. IF YOU ARE VENEZUELAN, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU, SINCE I DON'T THINK IT WILL BE LONG BEFORE WAR ERUPTS THERE... AND WE MEXICANS ARE VERY INTERESTED IN HELPING COLOMBIA AGAINST YOUR DADDY CHAVEZ. PARTICULARLY TO PROVE AMERICAN WEAPONRY AGAINST RUSSIAN ON VENEZUELAN SOIL HE HE.

  3. carlos parada 08/07/2010

    There are people worried about the relationship between Russia and Venezuela. Why isn't anything said when the relationship is between the United States and any other country like Colombia? The United States has military bases in Colombia and there's not much of a scandal. Why?

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