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domingo, abril 03, 2005

Having it both ways

U.S. officials have still got their knickers in a twist over Venezuela's arms purchases.

In "Having It Both Ways: U.S. Protests Spanish Arms Sale to Venezuela while It Arms Latin America and the World"COHA points out that:

1) Washington doesn't seem to care when Colombia tries to buy weapons -- including, last year, 46 huge tanks that Spain finally refused to sell to Colombia because they seemed obviously usable only against external targets. In fact, the U.S. has given Colombia million of dollars worth of weapons.

2) As the world's largest arms dealer ($66 billion last year), the U.S. can hardly portray itself as a principled critic of arms sales.

3) The U.S. will give $860 million in military aid to Latin American countries in 2005. And of course it also sells arms in Latin America; in 2002, for example, the U.S. sold Chile ten F-16s, to the distress of neighbors Peru and Argentina. "If any country can be accused of igniting local arms races," concludes the analysis, "surely Washington is a prime candidate for such a distinction."

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