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viernes, mayo 20, 2005

"US ambassador to Venezuela says reassured over Russian assault rifles purchase"

Perhaps the U.S. has finally realized that this horse is dead, and it's not going any further no matter how much they beat it.

This doesn't mean they'll give up castigating Venezuela though -- just find another way to do it.

US ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield said he is now 'satisfied' with Venezuela's purchase of 100,000 Russian assault rifles, adding that the concerns he had have been dispelled.

Daily El Universal quoted him as saying that the presentation of the rifles made by Venezuelan defence minister Jorge Luis Garcia Carneiro on Tuesday fully dispelled suspicions the US authorities might have had.

. . .

'Now we know which quantity, the type and other details that we didn't know before,' Brownfield said.

Full article here

Wow, great to see another blog on Venezuela - I thought I was the only one!! The issue of the guns was always a red herring, one of dozens the opposition makes up every day. And for the U.S., which spends as much as the rest of the world combined on arms, to complain is the height of hypocracy.

Good work, keep it up.

And stop by any time, oilwars.blogspot.com
Thanks, I checked out your blog. Oil is an issue I've mostly stayed out of because I don't think I understand the complexities of oil politics and technical aspects here -- so it's good to have a source to go to! (Did you realize you've got commenting disabled, though?)

Just a couple notes on your recent article "O'Grady does Venzuela":

"The great leap" is undoubtably O'Grady's interpretation of "un salto adelante" (a leap forward), a term frequently used by the Chavez administration to refer to the progress they hope Venezuelan society will make.

And the article refers to "the current president, who hasn’t nationalized a single company"; actually he has nationalized the country's only paper mill (Venepal, now Invepal) and a valve factory (CNV, now Inveval).

But this is hardly an indication of "communism" or mass takings of private property; rather, it was a legal action by the state to keep the plants running. In short, both of these factories were shut down by the owners as part of attempts to claim bankruptcy, whereupon the workers continued producing despite the lack of management, and evenutally demanded that the government step and and nationalize the plant.
Those companies where already shut down so I wouldn't really consider that natinalization. To me nationalization is taking over a going concern. And CNV was never really a "company" per se, Sosa Pietri ran it to get money out of PDVSA (he was president of PDVSA and owned a contractor to it at the same time!!!!). It never sold a single valve to anyone else. Typical of the old corruption.

I do have comments if you click on the "#" at the bottom of posts. I have to figure out how to fix that so they show without cliking the # sign.

Keep up your reports - they're great.
Well, I don't know what you'd call it besides nationalization. But that's just sematics. I certainly agree that expropriating a shutdown factory is quite different that nationalizing a functioning industry.

To get the comments to show up I believe you just need to change your template a little.

Here's what mine looks like (substituting square for angle brackets so Blogger doesn't interpret it as HTML):

[div class="blogComments"]
[BlogItemCommentsEnabled][a name="comments"][/a]
[div class="blogComment"]
[a name="[$BlogCommentNumber$]"][/a]
[$BlogCommentBody$][br /]
[div class="byline"][a href="[$BlogCommentPermalinkURL$]"title="permanent link"]#[/a] posted by [$BlogCommentAuthor$] : [$BlogCommentDateTime$][/div]

I am a rank amateur when it comes to Blogger coding, but I'll bet the part your template is missing is:

[div class="blogComment"]
[a name="[$BlogCommentNumber$]"][/a]

Try it out. And I hope this is all legible!
Yes, blogger direct comments is trickier with older templates like mine. I could never make it work in two steps, the reason why I stick to haloscan.

There are other blogs on Venezuela, you know :-) but ofcourse they are not of the liking of everyone.

Louise, the Russain gun issue was used by certain opposition sectors. The problem really is not the purchase of the rifles per se, but what woudl happen to the old riffles, something that the government has yet to fully satisfy with. Also there is some concern that the chosen Russian riffles were not the best available option and the reason of their being chosen anyway was that they woudl be comnpatible with some FARC held weapons.

I am not a weapon expert but the whole issue did not make it in my blog simply because if Chavez wants to arm the FARC, he will find way to do so, with or without Russian riffles. That is why I did not see it as major issue unlike many in the opposition. I was actually surprised that the US made such a big issue of it at first, they should have known better.

If I oppose the guns purchase is really for other reasons: I am anti military, period. A pacifist not quite as a country should be able to defend from agression. But I am very perturbed by the military intrusion in everyday life in Venezuela and thus I cannot approve the purchase of weapons for which I see no good use in the future. Seeing an armed reserve that will be more likely used to suppress dissent than to defend Venezuela agaisnt a, for now, very unlikely US invasion scares me. The Army is the army and it should remain in its barracks, no matter who is in office. Actually if we could get rid of the army it would be even better, some countries like Costa Rica have managed very well and survived much stronger threats than what Venezuela might be exposed to these days.
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