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At the same time the media in the United States appears obsessed with the questions surrounding the unsanctioned mention of the name of a CIA functionary, a South American Marxist - who has labeled the U.S. as "the most savage and cruel empire" - has received a license to manufacture Russian automatic weapons, with little apparent notice or interest by the established media. |
As part of a multi-million dollar arms deal with Moscow, the Marxist regime of Hugo Chavez has received a license to manufacture Russia's most sophisticated assault rife, the Kalashnikov AK-103. Deemed highly dependable and accurate, even at long range, the AK-103 is currently used by the Russian armed forces, and is an improved version of the famed AK-47. Venezuelan technicians have already been trained in Russia, and Russian engineers will travel to Venezuela to prepare production facilities.
In Argentina, under a billboard of Che Guevara, Chavez stands against the U.S. and promises to "bury" the free trade agreement - Venezuela Analysis online, November 4, 2005
A shipment of 28,000 AK103s is due to arrive in October in Venezuela, and the remainder of the 100,000 ordered should be delivered by March. In addition to the shipments of weaponry, Moscow is allowing Venezuela to produce the AK103, and has already assisted the Chavez government in preparing arms manufacturing facilities for the production of the state-of-the-art assault rifle. At present, the Chavez regime is the only Kalashnikov licensee in South America.
Moscow has increased its share of the arms market by providing not only weapons for sale, but also the license for their production. The arms export agreement between Russia and Venezuela involves not only small arms, but also helicopters and advanced fighter jets.
The weapons transfer from Moscow to Venezuela comes at a time when the Chavez government is accused of aiding Communist guerrilla movements throughout Latin America. In Mexico, Venezuelan diplomats were reportedly involved in attempting to smuggle weapons to local insurgents. A military intelligence report by authorities in Ecuador claim that the Chavez government is assisting in the training of a Marxist revolutionary group called the Alfarist Liberation Army (ELA), which apparently shares Chavez' dream of a united, Communist Latin America.
The Ecuadorian newspaper, El Comercio, published the account of the report from Ecuador's intelligence services from which other reports have so far appeared.
The Chavez government is training a group of Marxist guerillas, the ELA
The ELA is receiving assistance in the use of explosives, urban guerrilla warfare, "intelligence and revolutionary counter-intelligence," physical training, and the use of small arms. The Colombian Marxist guerrilla forces, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Army of National Liberation (ELN - not to be confused with its counterpart in Ecuador, the ELA) are assisting in "indoctrination" of the Ecuadorian revolutionaries. Chavez has also been a consistent supporter of the FARC and ELN.
Chavez has close ties with already established Communist regimes in North Korea, Cuba, and China. North Korea is a "model" for Venezuela, according to Chavez, and Cuba enjoys a mutual military assistance pact with Caracas. Chavez has stated that "Socialism is the only path" for Venezuela.
Chavez has demonstrated his support for Muslim fundamentalist terror by his regime's alliance with Iran, and his warm personal relations with the present and past presidents of the Islamic Republic.
When the Russian-Venezuelan arms deal first came to public attention, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld openly wondered why Venezuela needs 100,000 automatic rifles from Moscow. Continuing reports of Venezuelan assistance to Latin American rebels, the Chavez pact with Cuba, and his support of terrorist-sponsored Iran should answer the Secretary's question eloquently.
Posted November 8, 2005
Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
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