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Old 03-07-2008   #41
Wildcat
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I'm with John. Colombia will wipe the proverbial floor with Venezuela. Chavez's air force may be sporting a few Su-30MKs, but I'm willing to bet Colombia's pilots are qualitatively better. And of course Colombia has the perennial battlefield advantage of fighting defensively on its home turf. They certainly won't be the aggressors in any case, so they have a definite leg up on Venezuela.

I've got a friend in Bogota who was my "liaison" while I was in Colombia doing research. He's an advisor to the House of Reps down there, and I've asked him to keep me informed about attitudes and perceptions at the local level. No word back from him yet, though. I think he's probably a little busy at the moment...
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Old 03-10-2008   #42
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This is old news now, but the situation has cooled with an apology from Uribe. The good news is that we avoided a war and two FARC leaders have assumed room temperature. The OAS also proved itself useful in mediating the dispute. The bad news is that Chavez is still in power, and he successfully stood up to Uribe without much in the way of repercussions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/wo...yt&oref=slogin

Quote:
After leaders in the Andes tiptoed from the edge of war to bear hugs and oaths of brotherhood, Latin America was trying to sort out the winners and losers in the region’s worst diplomatic dispute in years.

A day after the crisis was resolved at a summit meeting in the Dominican Republic on Friday, it was already clear that nearly all of the players lost something. The leaders of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela traded charges that muddied each of them. Colombia and its ally, the United States, found themselves isolated in the region.

And Latin America’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, lost two senior commanders in a week, the latest in a string of tactical and strategic defeats.

But the biggest winner appears to have been the region itself, which resolved its own dispute without outside help and without violence.
Also this: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/worl...olombia&st=nyt
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Old 03-10-2008   #43
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Post Wouldn't be so sure

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Originally Posted by Wildcat View Post
The bad news is that Chavez is still in power, and he successfully stood up to Uribe without much in the way of repercussions.
He may seem to have come out unscathed but one can only imagine what his military leaders think about his willingness to throw them to the wolves over ??.

Might be a bit but I don't think we've seen the last of reprucussions yet
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Old 03-11-2008   #44
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Default Not quite clear just yet..

Originally posted by Wildcat:
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The bad news is that Chavez is still in power, and he successfully stood up to Uribe without much in the way of repercussions.
Yes, and no. Latest floating out there is that (a) the material coming out of the 2 notebooks "cannot be verified as authentic", and (b) There's a flood of the material being pushed out in front of God and everybody, for all to see. Uribe has played this just beautifully.

Wait for it, there's even more to come. Some of the material is likely to be very sensitive, to some certain political figures back home here.

Hugo and his minions are working to spin the press like nonstop whirling dervishes, Correa [President, Ecuador] is trying to figure out a way to keep accommodating FARC without looking complicit with all the released email bombshells, and Uribe is sitting back and quietly laughing to himself.

Going to be fun to watch as it plays out.
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Old 07-21-2008   #45
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...efer=worldwide

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez heads to Moscow today to shop for air defense systems, submarines and other weaponry as Latin America's arms race quickens amid signs that his regional influence is waning.
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Old 07-24-2008   #46
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ICG, 23 Jul 08: Venezuela: Political Reform or Regime Demise?
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....President Chávez faces mounting pressure from not only the political opposition and student movement, but also his own support base, including social sectors that had been a fundamental pillar of his regime. Following a landslide re-election in December 2006, he sought to accelerate his “socialism of the XXIst century”, but his government was unable to cope with widening dissatisfaction caused by a project that increased concentration of power in his hands without improving the living standards of a majority of citizens and deteriorating public services, or reducing chronic food shortages, double-digit inflation or crime and government corruption. The result was defeat of the government’s sweeping constitutional reforms in the 2 December 2007 referendum.

The pro-Chávez camp is losing momentum. It has become bureaucratic, corruption is rampant, and its capacity to manage the country is poor. Regional and local grassroots are increasingly disappointed by the top-down style of the new PSUV party, which also is under mounting pressure from the smaller chavista groups. The struggle for political supremacy could further divide the pro-Chávez political and social elements, turning the 23 November 2008 municipal and state elections into a litmus test for the future of Chávez and his movement.....
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Old 09-08-2008   #47
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Default Interesting Turm of Events....

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Venezuela to host Russia navy exercise in Caribbean
Dated: Saturday; September 6, 2008

(Reuters) - Several Russian ships and 1,000 soldiers will take part in joint naval maneuvers with Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea later this year, exercises likely to increase diplomatic tensions with Washington, a pro-government newspaper reported on Saturday.

Quoting Venezuela's naval intelligence director, Salbarore Cammarata, the newspaper Vea said four Russian boats would visit Venezuelan waters from November 10 to 14.

Plans for the naval operations come at a time of heightened diplomatic tension and Cold War-style rhetoric between Moscow and the United States over the recent war in Georgia and plans for a U.S. missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.
Link to Article

This should be a "sure thing" to re-start the debate over what actions the US should take. One thing it will accomplish in the American hemisphere is to re-start the entire Free Trade argument over the deal with Columbia, along with new arms shipments and additional military support for Columbia.

But more importantly, I could see this creating an impetus for new US arms exports of certain types of "defensive" weaponry to democratically inclined nations currently sharing a border with Russia. I wonder how much in current gen ATGM's could be purchased with a billion dollars or so?
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Old 09-08-2008   #48
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Post Although your probably right about the debate

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Originally Posted by Watcher In The Middle View Post
Link to Article

This should be a "sure thing" to re-start the debate over what actions the US should take. One thing it will accomplish in the American hemisphere is to re-start the entire Free Trade argument over the deal with Columbia, along with new arms shipments and additional military support for Columbia.

But more importantly, I could see this creating an impetus for new US arms exports of certain types of "defensive" weaponry to democratically inclined nations currently sharing a border with Russia. I wonder how much in current gen ATGM's could be purchased with a billion dollars or so?
I'm still kinda curious as to exactly how much of a threat Hugo is to anyone considering his own internal problems and as such these actions are simply good for exactly good enough reason for what you stated. Everyone else around him arming up. Not quite sure how that helps him in his mindset.

As to Russia sending ships there for exercises I'd think it might be somewhat of a bummer to those in the Russian navy.

Think about it :

On the one hand you could be training and taking part of large scale operations with some of the strongest and most potent Naval forces ever

or

Option number two -Go play with Chavez (I'd be willing to bet there are some very perturbed officers right about now)
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Old 09-10-2008   #49
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Default Those poor sailors...

Quote:
On the one hand you could be training and taking part of large scale operations with some of the strongest and most potent Naval forces ever

or

Option number two -Go play with Chavez (I'd be willing to bet there are some very perturbed officers right about now)
I can just see those poor souls at attention on deck while Hugo is giving one of his usual multiple hour snoozers (and in those temps). I mean, the guy never knows when to shut up. He can literally talk so long that he makes Granite weep.

Btw, found an interesting answer to ATGM's you could buy with around a billion dollars:
Quote:
Jan 10/07: RAFAEL and General Dynamics Santa Barbara Systems of Spain announce a $424.5 million contract with the Spanish Army for 2,600 SPIKE-LR missiles and 260 launchers missile systems. In addition to their anti-armor uses, their guidance system also allows the operator to target slow-flying aerial targets like helicopters and UAVs. The missiles will equip Spain’s land forces, including infantry, vehicles, and helicopters. Deliveries will take place from 2007-2014.
Link to Article

So, for probably around $900 mil (with inflation, but a quantity discount), you should be able to pick up around 5,200 missiles and 520 launchers.
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Old 01-31-2011   #50
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"Accident"
<pinky to lips, Dr. Evil style>

Quote:
MARACAY, Venezuela – A fire and a series of explosions tore through a military arms depot Sunday, killing one person and leading authorities to evacuate thousands of people.

About 10,000 residents fled their homes in areas up to several miles (kilometers) from the site as the burning ammunition produced powerful blasts, officials said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110130/...lyZWV4cGxvc2lv
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Old 02-05-2011   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
"Accident"
<pinky to lips, Dr. Evil style>
Might have actually been an accident.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately be explained by stupidity... or incompetence.
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Old 02-05-2011   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG View Post
"Accident"
<pinky to lips, Dr. Evil style>
Chavez got lucky post-9/11 with the War on Terrorism, the retired covert action / dirty tricks / Iran-Contra types were in demand elsewhere. Heck, I even read in the NYT last month that Dewey Clarridge is still running around, said he was throwing dirt on the Karzai’s.
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Old 10-03-2011   #53
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Default Venezuela: violence and politics

A short article by an ICG expert:http://www.opendemocracy.net/silke-p...e-and-politics

I have read about the scale of violence and the police being brutal, but the details are new to me and alarming. So taking one paragraph:
Quote:
The former interior and justice minister Jesse Chacón recently claimed the government had inherited the problem from former administrations. Fair enough: when Hugo Chávez took over the presidency in 1999, homicide rates had already tripled over the previous decade. But what Chacón did not mention is that they almost quadrupled in the following twelve years, from 4,550 in 1998 to 17,600 in 2010.
This insight speaks volumes:
Quote:
The daily killings in Venezuelan cities so far do not seem to have significantly affected President Chávez’s popularity.
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Old 10-10-2011   #54
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The daily killings in Venezuelan cities so far do not seem to have significantly affected President Chávez’s popularity.
Extraordinary!

What could be the reason?
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Old 11-11-2011   #55
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Quote:
CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that his navy detected a submarine in Venezuelan waters and that it quickly sped off.
The submarine was detected on Tuesday near the Venezuelan island of La Orchila in the Caribbean north of Caracas, where Venezuelan troops are participating in training drills near the island, Chavez told state television by telephone.
"It was pursued. It escaped because it's much faster than ours," Chavez said, referring to Venezuela's diesel-powered submarines. He said that judging by its speed and size, "it's a nuclear-powered submarine."
Chavez said his government was unable to say what nation might have sent the sub. "We can't accuse anyone," Chavez said, adding that his government is investigating.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/1...#ixzz1dNRWyJ6s
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Old 08-13-2012   #56
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Quote:
Venezuela is training a "guerrilla army" aiming to be a million strong by 2013 to fight off a possible US invasion, an opposition lawmaker said Sunday.

"Plan Sucre" -- apparently crafted with input from close ally and fellow US foe Cuba -- covers the legal, logistical and other angles necessary to "transform a professional army into a guerrilla army," Representative Maria Corina Machado told El Universal newspaper.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/venezuela-p...225507615.html
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Old 10-19-2013   #57
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Default Moderator at work

This thread was locked in August 2012, since than President Chavez has died from natural causes and there is not another thread on Venezuela, so I have changed the title and unlocked it.

US interest in the country remains, although possibly not with the passion of yesteryear.
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Old 10-19-2013   #58
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Default The heavy hand on Venezuela's streets

A long article from Open Democracy on Venezuela's internal policing issues, which starts with:
Quote:
Faced with soaring levels of crime and violence, Venezuela's government continues to militarize the police. The public disproves of the crime, but not the response. Why?
It ends with:
Quote:
..unless there is a drastic change in the current government, which has a strong military faction and is plagued by rampant corruption, the military policing model is likely to stay.
Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/opensec...zuelas-streets
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Old 04-06-2014   #59
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Default Chaos and Cubans

I am a little surprised that SWC has not posted on this nearby neighbour for sometime, perhaps it is too painful?

The Daily Telegraph has a long article on the current situation, as indicated by the sub-title:
Quote:
Death in the streets, rationing by fingerprints and a general on the run: how oil-rich Venezuela has descended into chaos
These two passages provide the context:
Quote:
The country is mired in a dangerous cycle of economic crisis and violent chaos, polarised between government loyalists in areas heavily dependent on state support and protestors who have taken to the streets over soaring crime rates, surging inflation and shortages of basic goods.

With the world’s largest known oil reserves, Venezuela should be reaping windfall gains. Yet in another sign of its parlous economics, the government has just announced a new rationing system using fingerprint registration to track purchases of subsidised but scarce foodstuffs milk, flour and rice.
Then I found this, which was a surprise, although given Venezuela's political path of late predictable, with my emphasis:
Quote:
The rancour over “Cubanisation” of Venezuela is a growing theme of the protests. Indeed, what drove Gen Rivero’s rift with his former comrade-in-arms of Hugo Chavez, the late socialist autocrat who even in death still dominates life here, was the import of Cuban officers into the highest echelons of the the military and security services.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...n-the-run.html
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Old 04-06-2014   #60
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It is as you say predictable: I've often said the only really wise policy decision Chavez even made was to die before his chickens came home to roost. How it plays out, and where it leads, is anything but predictable. The Cuban influx suggests that Maduro has every intention of fighting it out. Would be interesting to see some material from other sources on the Cuban issue...
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