|EDITORIAL: Hugo's Moscow Mission|
|July 24, 2008|
July 24, 2008
Just when you thought the Cold War was really over . . . Well, leave it to Venezuela's irrepressible president and long-time U.S.-basher Hugh Chavez to resurrect the concept.
Like his aging mentor Fidel Castro once did with the old Soviet Union, Chavez now wants to strike an alliance with Russia. Anyone old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis knows that such alliances are indeed fraught with dangerous possibilities. But this one even more so. After all, Venezuela has the oil, Russia the technology to help with exploration and refining -- oh, and weapons. Yes, some things never change.
The ever-paranoid Chavez still enjoys peddling the myth that any day now the U.S. will invade his oil-rich, but otherwise economically ravaged country. So an alliance with Russia would mean "we can guarantee Venezuela's sovereignty, which is now threatened by the United States," Chavez said shortly after arriving in Moscow.
And, hey, why wouldn't Russian President Dmitry Medvedev play that game, agreeing that Russian-Venezuelan relations "are one of the key factors of security in the [South American] region."
During the first day of Chavez's visit, Venezuela's state-run oil company signed deals with three Russian energy companies -- Gazprom, Lukoil and TNK-BP.
Since the U.S. has refused to sell weapons to Venezuela since 2006, Chavez brought his arms checkbook to Moscow as he shops for jets, diesel-powered submarines, air defense systems and possibly tanks (which goes a long way toward explaining why his nation is so impoverished).
And what helps fund those arms purchases? Well, the oil to which our nation is so addicted, including that cut-rate heating oil touted as being from "the people of Venezuela."
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