The arms and the revolutionary man.Photo: SU30MK2

Chávez is busy building a military machine to protect sovereignty

t is said that even God needed the help of Gabriel when he had to fight Lucifer. In that case, it is but natural that Hugo Chávez needs his own ‘Gabriel’ to fight off his ‘Lucifer’ (read George Bush). If latest developments provide a hint, then it seems that Chávez has found one, in the form of Putin.

On a recent visit to Russia, the firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met his counterpart, the Russian President Vladimir Putin and as expected, they discussed arms & energy. Chávez, a self-declared “enemy” of the Bush regime., is trying to minimize Washington’s global influence, particularly in Latin America. As a part of this strategy, he also visited Belarus & Iran after his Russian sojourn. During his three day tour, Chávez visited several Russian weapons factories. The two countries discussed military-technical cooperation that helps Venezuela build advanced technologies and help it obviate the need to depend on Washington for military assistance. Venezuela has already purchased over 50 helicopters, 24 Su-30MK2 warplanes, as well as 100,000 Russian AK-103 assault rifles. Russian submarines are certainly on the agenda of Chávez. “Most likely, Chávez will buy five Project 636 submarines with missile systems, but it could end up buying nine,” said Ivan Konovalov, noted Strategic expert from The Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, while talking to B&E. He adds further, “… the submarine deal could be split into two or three parts, and include construction of submarine bases and training of submarine crews and, in future, might also include the purchase of advanced Tor-M1 air defence systems.”

Clearly Chávez seems to be on a shopping spree, building military infrastructure free of any ‘imperialist’ pressures. Only time will tell if Chávez is successful in altering the uni-polarity of the world and the hegemony of the United States of America.


Saurabh Kumar Shahi