Hugo Goes Shopping

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Chavez Talks Tough, Buys Russian Arms

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez goes power buying and lands an eye-popping weapons deal with Moscow
by Anna Arutunyan

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez raised a few worried eyebrows in Washington during his visit to Belarus, once labeled as “Europe’s last dictatorship,” and now Russia, landing a series of arms and energy deals that look slated to forge what Chavez called a strategic alliance against U.S. hegemony.

“Irritating Imperialism”– Arriving in Minsk on Monday, Chavez, a man of socialist convictions who has vowed to unite Latin America, quickly befriended Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, recently slapped with European sanctions after allegedly rigging his presidential election in March. Defying U.S. criticism that has labeled both republics “pariah states,” the Venezuelan leader talked of keeping a “sword handy” to “defend our motherland, resist internal and external threats and protect our national projects.” The two leaders’ activities included watching a live reenactment of a World War II battle at a cultural memorial called Stalin’s Line, near Minsk. In a Channel 1 broadcast, Chavez was shown rushing to aid the Soviet soldiers even before the reenactment was over. Tuesday, after seven deals were reportedly signed to broker closer economic and strategic ties that were not widely publicized, Chavez addressed an audience at the Belarusian Military Academy, where he minced no words in his plans to counteract what he called U.S. imperialism. Continue reading at Link – Moscow News

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