Photo: Venezuela's Military
While the Latin American region is basking in the glow of a U.S. Presidential visit and all of President Obama’s regional praise, there is also much worry about Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Security experts are reporting that Chavez is expanding his military capability by spending $15 billion in weapons purchases that include tanks, helicopters, submarines and missile networks. The country’s rate of armament is unprecedented in the region.
Other experts say he has actually spent $30 billion in armament and most of those funds are borrowed. Chavez himself says he wants to modernize the country’s armed forces.
The Association for Citizen Control for the Security and Defense of Nation (a Venezuelan NGO) is reporting that most of the new military equipment is coming from Russia, China and Spain. More alarming to Chavez’ Latin American neighbors are his plans to build weapon plants inclusive of a powder factory co-produced along with Iran.
The U.S. has recently expressed concern and displeasure with Russia about the massive amount of weapons it is selling to Chavez.