OK, Chavez Buys Subs for Venezuela

Jpm2000000pmWed, 21 Feb 2007 13:38:34 -080007 23, 2007

Chavez has decided to purchase nine submarines to keep in Latin America to counter the United States presence there.  Chavez claims that he is just preparing for any type of “asymmetric war” with the U.S. if it should ever occur.  So far, Venezuelan officials claim that they are abiding by all international and regional nonproliferation treaties. Buying weapons is nothing new to the Venezuelan leader, however this purchase will double what is currently being spent on military by the country. 

Caracas is reported to have spent $3.4 billion on Russian arms, including assault rifles and fighter jets, and to be negotiating to buy a $290 million Russian air-defense system. 
Now, according to remarks attributed to Vice Adm. Armando Laguna,

Venezuela is planning to spend another $3 billion for nine submarines, giving it the region’s largest submarine fleet by 2012. Mr. Alvarez could not confirm the report. 

Thus far, the United States has yet to declare any intention of ever attacking Venezuela.  In fact, it would make sense that the U.S. ceases trading with Venezuela prior to any such military attack.  Since Venezuela’s primary trade partner is America, some sort of economic sanctions—in the event that the U.S. wants inflict harm—would probably do enough damage to the South American nation’s economy. 

Historically, last time there was any sort of build up against the
United States military in the Caribbean was during the Cold War by Soviet backed Cuba.  However, the present situation is rather different considering Cuba was backed by the American nemesis, USSR, who at the time wielded much more power internationally than they do now.  Hugo Chavez’s government doesn’t have nearly the military power backing that Cuba had. 

Consequently, many will ask whether or not the submarines in the Caribbean present a threat to the U.S. and/or any allies in the region.  Some say that there is an unlikely chance that a nautical war will erupt from this; nevertheless, the massive loads of small arms that are being bought by Venezuela very well may end up in the hands of rebels and non-military individuals throughout the region—remember Columbia is just next door and claims one of the highest crime rates in the world.    

Another question that arises from this is whether or not Chavez’s actions will jeopardize trade with the U.S. The answer is we will probably see because it depends on several factors.  For one, how much of a threat the U.S. sees the build up as is a determinate of what could occur.  If our government feels endangered we will first probably ask Chavez to stop and then depending on his response subsequently take actions.  All the same, it is difficult to determine what will arise (if anything even comes of this).



  1. […] Chavez to put subs in the Caribbean […]

  2. […] https://adale.wordpress.com/2007/02/21/12/ […]

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