The Russia-Venezuela Military Alliance

By: Daniel Nardini

 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAnd while the drama of what will happen to Edward Snowden continues, what so much of the media missed was what current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Russian President Vladimir Putin were doing. Both men inked a couple of important agreements between their countries. One is the Russian government having more of a stake in Venezuela’s oil and natural gas reserves. Add this with Russia’s vast oil and natural gas reserves, and one can see a monopoly taking place between the two countries. Both countries can use these resources to force concessions from those who import these badly needed energy products (hint: the United States and the European Union).

The second agreement is very much a military one. Venezuela will buy more combat aircraft as well as military equipment and military hardware from Russia. All of this includes pistols, rifles, artillery and tanks, and even naval vessels. This comes as no shock since the United States cut off all sales of military material to Venezuela under then President Hugo Chavez because of his anti-U.S. policies. The U.S. military hardware embargo against Venezuela included spare parts, so all of the weaponry the Venezuelan military had bought previously from the United States is now worthless. It seems that Maduro is continuing the policy of buying Russian military hardware despite a sort-of thaw in U.S.-Venezuela relations. Apparently Maduro still does not trust the United States enough to want to hit the reset button.

What we must keep in mind is that Venezuela is not just buying military equipment from Russia. It is also establishing a Russian presence in South America because the Venezuelans will need Russian military advisers for the equipment and computer tech devices the Venezuelan military will be using. It could well mean Russian military bases, or at least a presence of Russian military officers, on Venezuelan soil. In a way it could be like Cuba and the Cold War all over again. We should be concerned about this.

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