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Chavez attacks US halt on plane deal

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January 14, 2006 - 1:04PM


President Hugo Chavez on Friday blasted Washington for blocking Spain's sale of military aircraft to Venezuela and taunted the United States by speculating about what might happen if he stopped sending it oil.


Washington said on Thursday it had refused an export license for Spain to sell 12 transport and maritime surveillance planes containing US technology to Venezuela, the world's No.5 oil exporter and a key US energy supplier.


Chavez, who often accuses Washington of trying to oust him, has antagonised the US government with his campaign to counter US trade proposals in Latin America. US officials brand him a negative influence in the region.


"What is this if not proof of the horrific imperialism Washington's government wants to impose on the world ... a new attack on Venezuela is just beginning," Chavez told parliament in a speech that lasted more than five hours.


"After all the US government has done to us, we still send them 1.5 million barrels of oil every day... what would happen if tomorrow I said no more oil tankers go to the US, how high would oil prices go?" he asked.


Spain said on Friday it planned to go ahead with the sale of planes to Venezuela, using substitute technology, after the United States blocked the deal for the EADS-CASA aircraft with US components.


Chavez has weakened Venezuela's traditional alliance with Washington since his election in 1998. He has cut US military cooperation and strengthened ties with South American neighbours and countries such as Iran, India and China.


The fiery leader has repeatedly warned oil supplies could be threatened if the United States invaded Venezuela, which supplies about 15 percent of US energy imports. US officials dismiss such statements as ridiculous.


Rich from soaring petroleum prices, Venezuela last year negotiated deals to buy weapons and military equipment from Spain, Russia and Brazil in an effort to overhaul its armed forces and beef up border defences.


Washington has said it worries that some of Venezuela's new weapons could fall into the hands of groups it says are terrorist, such as Colombia's Marxist FARC rebels.


"We're concerned that this proposed sale of military equipment and components to Venezuela could contribute to destabilisation in Latin America," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.


The aircraft are part of a $US2 billion ($A2.67 billion) Spanish deal, signed in November, to supply Caracas with ships and planes. Venezuela has also purchased Russian military helicopters and 100,000 rifles and wants to buy Brazilian military training planes.


Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said on Wednesday his country saw signs Washington was trying to block the sale of the Brazilian-made military aircraft to Venezuela.

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no matter how much I like this guy and respect what he has to say..in the end its all about the $$$ and buying weapons...its always just a fuckin arms race...oh well

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Originally posted by Soup@Jan 14 2006, 10:04 PM


Chavez told parliament in a speech that lasted more than five hours.





When I first read this I thaugght 'what a maniac, he gave a 5 hour speech' - than it occured to me that the media NEVER says "George Bush gave a 3 minute speech with no content to a group of people hand selected so that while he says nothing, they would clap anyway and give him money..."


Why was this fact relevant as it was stated - if that was important why was it not expanded upon?

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Guest imported_El Mamerro

They might've wanted to subtly link him to Castro's 9-hour speech marathons.


I might on some level respect what he's doing, but Chavez is a sleazebag.

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on the topic of bush's speeches i saw footage of some gronky little kid asking him how normal people can help in the war on terror, it was so orchestrated it made me involuntarily retch

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