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Putin Sold Chavez Shoulder-Fired Missiles

More Saturday fare, from the Washington Post:

Venezuela acquires 1,800 antiaircraft missiles from Russia

By Juan Forero
Saturday, December 11, 2010

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez’s stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.

Which must be another reason why Mr. Obama is in such a hurry to reward Mr. Putin with a ratified START treaty.

The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia’s pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

It had been unclear how many of the Russian SA-24 missiles were delivered to Venezuela, though the transfer itself was not secret…

[E]arlier this year, Russia reported to the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, which records the transnational sale of weaponry, that the deal totaled 1,800 missiles.

The U.N. registry did not reveal the model of the delivered weaponry. But the American commander for military forces in Latin America, Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, publicly expressed concern this year that Venezuela was purchasing as many as 2,400 of the missiles, also called the IGLA-S.

Matt Schroeder, a missile expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said the missiles are among the most sophisticated in the world and can down aircraft from 19,000 feet.

"It’s the largest recorded transfer in the U.N. arms registry database in five years, at least…"

Well, between Mr. Chavez and the Mexican drug cartels, we have nothing to fear about these missiles falling into the wrong hands.

Also, given our famously secure southern border, these weapons will never make it into our country.

The database also shows that from 2006 through 2008, Russia delivered to Venezuela 472 missiles and launching mechanisms, 44 attack helicopters and 24 combat aircraft, purchases funded by Venezuelan oil sales

Secret American cables said that the United States was concerned about the Chavez government’s acquisition of Russian arms, which also included attack helicopters, Sukhoi fighter planes and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.

A State Department cable on Aug. 10, 2009, to embassies in Europe and South America said Russian sales to Venezuela total "over $5 billion last year and growing."

Why should we be concerned? Certainly, Mr. Putin would never do anything that would hurt US interests. Just as he would never help the Iranians pursue nuclear weapons. Just as he would never sell the Iraqi insurgents night vision goggles.

We can do business with Mr. Putin. We can trust him.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Putin Sold Chavez Shoulder-Fired Missiles”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    “Hugo is sporting a wide lapel for that Shoulder Fired Missile Look that’s sure to drive all the other latin boys crazy!”

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    If Hugo looks up through the back of the launch tube he’ll be able to see where the missile is headed.
    (look at picture atop topic)

    “Get some, baby!!”

    • JohnMG says:

      Got the perfect armament for ol’ Hugo, LD. I’m sending it your way via e-mail. But first, I think the whole Democratic caucus should receive these for Christmas. What’cha think?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Excellent JMG!

      As we Marines like to put it, “Takin’ out the ‘garbage’!!”

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