Chavez Plots Military Independence from Washington

At the inaugeral for a 'new course of study for Venezuela's Joint Chiefs of Staff,' President Hugo Chavez complained that 'Washington will only allow Venezuela to have a modern armed force if it remains dependent on the United States.' Chavez then declared that this dependence is to be broken. And according to this article from Venezuela's El Universal, Chavez has a long line of willing weapons suppliers ready to take Uncle Sam's place.

Translated by Richard Hauenstein

January 14, 2005

Original Article (Spanish)    

Chavez Tells Military Leadership to Prepare for 'War of Resistance,' Friday.

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: Hugo Chavez]

Caracas: The president of the Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, today introduced new courses of study for the National Armed Forces in a speech to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an occasion he used to assure us that we are in an era of "asymmetrical war or a war of resistance," and he once again accused the United States of "trying to deny the fact that ours is a modern armed force, because we are not dependent on them."

"When one speaks of asymmetrical war, or a war of resistance, such a war will have different phases beginning with a political phase; from that point of view, we are at war - a political war, a media war, every day - and one who does not take this into account may be surprised in his good faith." said Chavez, inviting members of the National Forces to analyze the politics of the situation not only by way of classical theory, but in light of this new theory as well.

Chavez told those present that "we must be conscious that we are in a stage of that asymmetrical war, that war of resistance. We are resisting the outrages of imperialism", he assured them.

Chavez Arrives at National Assembly (above);

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: Hugo Chavez]
Chavez Describes State of the Union, Friday (below).

As an example of these "outrages," he pointed out the fact that the U.S. would not authorize the Brazilian company Embraer to build military aircraft for Venezuela, although Chavez assured Washington that the planes were for training purposes only, "because Embraer uses American technology." [RealVideo Allies Rebel Against U.S. Military Trade Restrictions.]

He indicated that the same thing happened with the [Venezuelan fleet of] F-16's, and that the U.S. "withheld better maintenance" and "delayed delivery of replacement parts" and that he has advised Washington that "if we have to replace that fleet of F-16's with a modern fleet of MIG planes, we will do it; nothing will impede us from our determination to have our own Armed Forces."

"We remain hopeful that very soon, Brazil will solve the (Embraer) problem, except that China is also building aircraft for training, fighting and bombing. It won't be long before rifles and Russians will begin to arrive" Chavez added.

[Editor's Note: Chavez has purchased 100,000 (Kalashnikov) AK-103 and AK-104 automatic rifles, plus an agreement with Russia to manufacture 300,000 more of the weapons under license in Venezuela. He also signed up for 44 helicopters and is negotiating to buy advanced MiG-29 fighters from Russia].

Chavez claimed that the United States "tries to keep us from having modern ships, tries to keep us from having airplanes and a modern, well-equipped Air Force, unless we remain dependent on them; if we are dependent on them they won't sell us certain things. If we are independent, they wish to neutralize our military powers."

The new study course for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, directed at the top officers of the four military services, is under the instruction of the new Advanced School of Joint Warfare.

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