Moscow Strengthening Alliances In Latin America

Moscow Strengthening Alliances In Latin America
September 29th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Moscow Strengthening Alliances In Latin America

Moscow Strengthening Alliances In Latin America
September 27, 2008

Lou Dobbs This Week, 7:00 PM
LOU DOBBS: There is new evidence tonight that Russia and Venezuela are strengthening their anti-American alliance. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is meeting with Russian leaders in Moscow. Chavez and the Russian president reaching a number of agreements, all of them apparently designed to challenge American influence all around the world.
Russia will lend Venezuela $1 billion to buy Russian weaponry. Venezuela has already signed contracts to buy Russian weapons worth more than $4 billion over the past three years. Russia and Venezuela are also strengthening their ties on energy and economic ties as well. These include, of course, sharing technology for nuclear power in Venezuela.
That Venezuelan/Russian alliance is only one example of Moscow's rising anti-Americanism and its geopolitical policy after Russia's invasion of Georgia last month. Moscow is stepping up its military presence and influence in Latin America as a clear threat to our national security.
Jamie McIntyre has the report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JAMIE MCINTYRE: Russia's Peter the Great battlecruiser is undeniably impressive, three times as big as any American Navy cruiser and bristling with all manner of weaponry. The behemoth is leading a small flotilla of Moscow's best warships to the Caribbean for a first-ever exercises with America's arch-antagonist, Venezuela.
It's the largest display of Russian military might in the western hemisphere since the Cold War.
But it's also a Potemkin Armada, a facade, says Kremlin watcher John Pike, who believes Moscow just wants to irritate the U.S.
JOHN PIKE, GLOBALSECURITY.ORG: It's a lot more of a show than it is a show of force. These are old ships. They have obsolete technology on them.
MCINTYRE: And why is Russia coasting up to Venezuela?
PIKE: Well, I think that Venezuela and Russia have one thing in common, the United States. Anything that would annoy the United States, both of them are interested in doing, through on get together, they can possibly be tremendously annoying.
MCINTYRE: Russia is retaliating in America's backyard for what Moscow sees as U.S. interference in its so-called "Near Abroad." That includes U.S. missile defenses in Poland, the Czech Republic and potential NATO membership for former Soviet states Ukraine and Georgia. Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads but the Pentagon still considers its conventional forces a paper tiger.
DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: Russia's conventional military remains a shadow of its Soviet predecessor in size and capability.
MCINTYRE: Venezuela is the world's ninth biggest oil producer and its anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, hopes Russia will build a big new refinery to end Venezuela's reliance on U.S. refineries, as well as become a supplier of modern weapons.
But the Pentagon professes to be unperturbed.
GEOFF MORRELL, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: You should be known by the company you keep, they wish to hang out with the Venezuelan navy, that's their business.
MCINTYRE: Sitting on a pile of oil and gas wealth and emboldened by its unchecked attack on Georgia, Russia is sending a clear signal -- that for now, at least, it's more interested in challenging the U.S. than in cooperating.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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