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Procurement: Tyranny For Sale
   Next Article → COUNTER-TERRORISM: Where Democracy Hurts

September 15, 2009: Russia has agreed to loan Venezuela $2.2 billion to buy more Russian weapons. This includes S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. S-300 battalions (also called the SA-20 in the West) consist of a radar unit, and 4-8 launchers (four S-300 missiles are mounted on each launcher, which is carried by semi-trailer truck).

Roughly equivalent to the U.S. Patriot, the Russian built S-300 was first known as the SA-10 to NATO, when the system first appeared in the late 1970s. Current S-300 missiles weigh 1.8 tons each and are 26 feet long and about 20 inches in diameter. The missiles have a range of some 200 kilometers and can hit targets as high as 100,000 feet. The missile has a 320 pound warhead.

The 64N6 radar used by S-300 battalions has a range of 300 kilometers. Venezuela has about 5,000 kilometers of borders, so at least five S-300 battalions would be needed. That would consume most of the $2.2 billion, depending on what model (some S-300 models are more expensive, and capable, than others.) The really high end stuff would be needed to have a chance against the United States, which is what Venezuela says it needs to defend itself from.

Venezuela is also said to be buying 92 tanks, either T-72s or T-90s (the latter is a much upgraded version of the former). None of Venezuela's borders are tank country, and only one of Venezuela's neighbors has large tank forces (Brazil, which has over 500 heavy tanks). So these tanks would mainly used to keep Venezuelans in line. For that, T-72s would do.

Venezuela has already purchased $4 billion worth of Russian weapons, mainly Su-27 jet fighters, and hundreds of thousands of assault rifles for a militia loyal to president Hugo Chavez. While Venezuela is a major oil producer, Chavez has been spending money faster than he can pump oil. An increasing number of Venezuelans are unhappy with the billions in oil revenue given to foreigners, or spent on weapons and cronies. Thus the importance of getting a loan (which may never be repaid, especially if Chavez gets overthrown). Chavez apparently is also seeking advice from the Russians on how to turn a democracy into a police state (which the Russians are currently writing the book on.) Chavez is in need of this kind of knowledge, because his growing clamp down on opposition media, and any opposition in general, is generating increasingly violent resistance.

Next Article → COUNTER-TERRORISM: Where Democracy Hurts
  

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Dave_in_Pa       9/15/2009 10:32:41 AM
Does everyone remember the recent international conference in S. America, where Comrade Presidents Obama and Chavez exchanged that controversial, oh-so-warm greeting? 
 

 
 
 
 
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trenchsol       9/15/2009 11:23:47 AM

Does everyone remember the recent international conference in S. America, where Comrade Presidents Obama and Chavez exchanged that controversial, oh-so-warm greeting? 


I remember that Chavez gave some communist literature to Mr. Obama, but it was never revealed if latter actually read any of it. Communist literature can be very useful if you have a table with a short leg, but Mr. Obama can probably afford himself decent furniture.
 
I remember that Chavez used to gather retired people and send them to walk along the beaches to watch for US invasion, which was due to happen next week or so. It was not such a bad idea, because it was good for the health of older citizens. Much better than drinking, smoking, playing cards or watching tv.

DG

 
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YelliChink       9/15/2009 4:36:44 PM
I thought Russians would have learned that loaning money to dictators for them to buy Russian weapons are just like paying them to have Russian-made weapons. In the end, they lose money, and dictators get unwarranted weapons.
 
Venezuelans  apparently don't need those weapons. Why does Chavez buy these for?
 
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trenchsol       9/15/2009 5:09:19 PM


Venezuelans  apparently don't need those weapons. Why does Chavez buy these for?



Chavez might have plans for interventions in neighbor countries. Something like Latin America Comintern, perhaps. Climate seem favorable. Consider  that Zelaya  affair in Honduras. Commie  dictator  was chased out of the country and, suddenly, everyone, including US, is condemning it....... It is, perhaps, now or never.

DG

 
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