US plays both Venezuela sides
By Mike Ceaser |
Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
CARACAS, VENEZUELA – While the Bush administration engages in a war of words with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the US government has been giving permits to American arms dealers to sell weapons, tear gas, and other riot-control equipment to Venezuela.
At the same time, the US Congress has indirectly funded anti-Chávez pro-democracy groups.
"It's a bizarre working at cross- purposes," says Adam Isacson, who follows Venezuela for the left-leaning Center for International Policy in Washington. "You have bad relations with this government, and you're selling them the means to put down opposition protests."
I agree with the NGO dood, that is kind of wack. But then again doesn't the U.S. also fund the Palestinian Authority AND sell massive weapons to the Israelis? -
But lets clarify a little here, we are allowing private parties to sell some weapons and riot gear to what looks to be Venezuelan cops, theoritically it could be a municipal force buying the stuff.:
Defense and Commerce department records show that in 2002, Washington issued licenses to export to Venezuela more than 7,000 pistols and rifles and 22 million rounds of ammunition, as well as riot-control equipment and interrogator sets. In 2003, it issued licenses for $43 million in military equipment sales, including a million cartridges, 1,000 pistols, and ammunition. Last year it issued $24.6 million in licenses, including $425,000 in tear gas. This year, the US has approved export licenses for police gear, restraint devices such as leg irons, stun gun-type arms and chemical agents.
The Whole Article Here
Interesting that Brazil and Israel continue to sell weapons to the Colonel.
The bottom line here, and hardly mentioned in the article, is that Hugito has oil - gobs of it. He wants to buy all sorts of toys - and finds willing sellers. For the U.S. it is a matter of putting up with his annoyances as long as the oil flows continue.