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Venezuela Set to Develop Nuclear Power With Russia

Monday, September 29, 2008


CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia will help Venezuela develop nuclear energy — a move likely to raise U.S. concerns over increasingly close cooperation between Caracas and Moscow.

Chavez said he accepted an offer from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for assistance in building a nuclear reactor.

"Russia is ready to support Venezuela in the development of nuclear energy with peaceful purposes and we already have a commission working on it," Chavez said. "We are interested in developing nuclear energy."

Putin offered Chavez assistance in developing nuclear energy during a meeting in the Russian city of Novo-Ogaryovo last week. The prime minister did not specify what kind of cooperation he could offer Venezuela, but Russia is aggressively promoting itself as a builder of nuclear power plants in developing nations.

Russia has ramped up its cooperation with Venezuela since last month's war with Georgia, which badly damaged Moscow's already strained ties with the West, particularly the United States.

During Chavez's visit to Russia last week, a Russian naval squadron sailed for the Caribbean Sea in preparation for joint exercises with Venezuela later this year — a move that appeared retaliatory after the U.S. sent warships to deliver aid to Georgia.


The deployment is expected to represent the largest Russian naval maneuvers in the Caribbean — and perhaps the Western Hemisphere — since the Cold War.

Chavez says that stronger ties with Russia will help build a multi-polar world — a term the two allies use to describe their shared opposition to what they claim is U.S. global domination.

Since 2005, Venezuela has agreed to buy more than US$4.4 billion worth of weapons from Russia including fighter jets, combat helicopters, and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles. And President Dmitry Medvedev has offered Chavez a loan to purchase additional weapons.

Chavez argues the United States and European Union do not have the right to prevent developing countries from pursuing nuclear technology, and he has strongly defended Iran's nuclear program despite the Western powers' fear that Tehran may be building nuclear weapons.

Before taking Russia up on its offer, Chavez had expressed interest in acquiring a nuclear reactor from Argentina and working with Iran, among other countries, to research nuclear energy.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,429441,00.html
 

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Between Iran and North Korea, then Pakastan having nukes too... I think we're officially screwed....
 

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I think the Russians will piss on us every chance they get because of the missile defense stuff in their back yard. I wonder how we will act this time when they set up shop in Cuba.
 

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it really makes me wonder why in God"s name Obama wants to dismantle our nuclear weapons.
 

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Venezuela, is being very foolish. They are sealing their own doom. Mark my words. This dog won't hunt. They have alot to loose playing this type of game and Hugo Chavez is not smart enough to play.
 

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and a day later

Potential Russian Launch Base in Cuba

Even as a Russian naval task force enters the Caribbean for joint exercises with Venezuelan forces, and a pair of Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers fly from a base in the Kola Peninsula to Venezuela, the Russian government is discussing the possibility of a satellite launch facility in Cuba.
Revelation of the interest in Cuba came from Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, in a September statement. This may be the latest move by Russian prime minister (and former president) Vladimir Putin to reestablish Russia as a key "player" on the world political-military scene.
The Russian interest in the Caribbean-South America region is reflected in the high-level Russian delegation visiting the area, led by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin. Perminov is part of the Sechin delegation.
(Sechin had visited Cuba on 30-31 July of this year for talks with Raul Castro and, possibly, the ailing Fidel Castro.Putin followed up Sechin's visit with a 5 August announcement that Russia should "restore [its] position in Cuba and other countries.")
The Soviet Union-Russia was the principal political and economic supporter of Cuba from the early 1960s through the demise of the USSR in December 1991. Indeed, Soviet attempts to establish Cuba as a strategic missile and military base led to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when the United States and Soviet union came closer to a nuclear exchange than at any other time during the 45-year Cold War. After the demise of the USSR support for Cuba ended, causing considerable economic hardship in Cuba.
A major satellite launch facility in Cuba would permit placing satellites in certain orbits that cannot be done from Russian launch sites: Easterly launches close to the equator are the most efficient because of the earth's rotation, maximizing the payload that a launch vehicle can boost into orbit. Such a launch facility and its support infrastructure would be a major source of employment and foreign investment for the Cuban economy.
From the Russian perspective, beyond the political impact of having a major technical facility less than 100 miles from the U.S. coast, it easily enables the reestablishment of a major intelligence collection capability in Cuba. (From the mid-1960s until 2002 the Soviet military intelligence agency -- the GRU -- operated a massive collection facility at Lourdes, Cuba. At its peak operation it was manned by more than 2,000 technicians, both military and civilian.)
Russia's interest in the Western Hemisphere far exceeds Cuba and Venezuela, as the Moscow regime seeks to sell arms to other South American countries, gain access to South American resources (which is now subject to major Chinese efforts), and to develop improved commercial ties to an area that many feel has long been ignored by the United States.
While some Americans will see a satellite launch facility in Cuba as a "cover" for the possible use of such launch stands for military missiles, that concern is a non-starter. U.S. satellite surveillance and the presence of numerous American technicians and businessmen in Cuba, as well as visiting educational groups, would make such a clandestine effort impossible.
Further, because of the non-military nature of such a facility -- which would take several years to establish -- the U.S. government would be hard pressed to claim that it violated the 1962 agreements between Moscow and Washington that prohibited strategic weapons -- missiles and bombers -- from being installed in Cuba.
As the Russian government reacts to American anger over Russian intervention in Georgia, the continuing expansion of NATO, and U.S. plans to install ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, a non-military satellite launch installation in Cuba could be considered a valid action by the Moscow regime. Of more concern to American leaders should be the arms sales to Venezuela, especially the expected sale of up to five advanced diesel-electric submarines of the Project 877EKM or Varshavyanka series, known in the West as the improved Kilo class.
These submarines and other arms sales -- and joint Russian-indigenous weapon programs -- will enhance Russia's influence and access to resources in South America. And that situation could greatly harm U.S. interests.
 
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