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Chavez: A Chinese connection?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, April 15, 2005

Hugo Chavez's military buildup has the editors of the Miami Herald a bit concerned.
How far is Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez going down the road to military dictatorship, and how far does Latin America want to travel along with him? These are important questions for other Latin American governments whose democracies emerged after painful periods of military rule.

Unfortunately, the trend in Venezuela is away from civilian control and democratic processes. Though democratically elected, Mr. Chávez has been amassing authoritarian power and gutting Venezuela's democratic institutions for six years. Now he is militarizing the nation at full throttle.
The Miami area, of course, is pretty plugged in to the Latin American scene. And its obvious people are getting a little antsy about Chavez's expansion of a military which faces no hostile nations and isn't under threat of hostile action from anyone. While the Herald is talking about other Latin American governments taking note, you can believe its also pointing out to this government it better take note.

The buildup, militarily, really makes no sense from the standpoint of guarding against an external threat. And that makes you believe that something else may be afoot.
Venezuela's plans to purchase arms include up to 24 combat planes from Brazil; military patrol boats and transport planes from Spain; and helicopters, 50 MiG jets and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles from Russia. That's more than $2 billion in war materiel for a nation that has only 32,000 regular army troops.

And there are other disturbing moves. Taking pages from Fidel Castro's playbook, Mr. Chávez also is training thousands of civilians to form ''Popular Defense Units.'' He talks about increasing the military reserves to 1.5 million troops from a current reserve level of 50,000 troops. Armed with Russian assault rifles, the civilians easily could serve as a private army under the president's control.
100,000 assault rifles for a 32,000 man army? Not likely. An increase in reservists from 50k to 1.5 million? The Herald points to Chavez taking a page out of Castro's book. But in reality its a page out of Manuel Noriega's book as well. You remember the Dignity Battalions which Noriega used to take and keep power? Consider this expansion in Venezuela's military and what it most likely is aimed toward. If I were to guess, I'd say keeping and consolidating power. Chavez claims its to prevent an invasion by the US.

Great ... another Cuba or Panama, this one with oil.

And that fact is one of the looming problems with this developing scenario.

Venezuela has been one of the US's most reliable suppliers over the years, supplies almost 12% of our total oil last year. Obviously that's a supply the US would prefer to see continue. But with the machinations of Chavez, one has to wonder if, in fact, he's not manufacturing a reason to break that relationship.

And what nation, considering Chavez cozying up with Castro and his apparent socialistic tendencies, might you see benefiting from this sort of a break between the US and Venezuela?

Ask yourself, who pretty well controls the Panama Canal now? Not that it would necessarily matter in terms of transhipping oil (although that is quite handy) but it does point to the influence of China in the hemisphere. One would think, at least on the surface, that energy hungry China would love to see a break between the US and Venezuela. It would certainly love to have that oil to feed its overheated economy.

There's an obviously developing Chinese/Venezuelan relationship that's got to be worrysome if you're the US:
Hu spoke highly of the achievements made by both sides since they established diplomatic ties 30 years ago. He said during the 30 years, especially since President Chavez came into power, bilateral relations have been deepened and more high-level visits have been carried out. The two countries enhanced mutual understanding and political trust, expanded trade and economic cooperation and supported and closely cooperated with each other in international affairs.
There are examples of it all over Latin America. For instance, consider this little blurb which would be quite easy to miss:
"President Chavez did announce that he wanted to build a Simon Bolivar Village in Grenada and so we decided to put that in St. David's which was the hardest hit part of the country. We are indeed heartened by this initiative and so there will be a Simon Boulevard Village and as you know, President Chavez is a man of history," he said.

It was also announced that the Chinese Government have also agreed to construct 2,000 homes in Grenada and a team of technicians and engineers from China who will be working on the rebuilding of the National Stadium will be "bringing additional personnel to look at the construction of the 2,000 low-income homes," Mitchell said.
Knowing the pragmatic Chinese, you can smell oil all over this growing relationship. Ask yourself, other than oil, what other reason has China to team up with Venezuela?

Obviously, as the story indicates, China's part in all of this is fairly subtle. I don't think China is particularly interested in seeing Venezuala in a Chinese orbit (or even with a communist government) as much as it is interested in seeing it becoming economically allied (meaning selling the bulk of its oil to them) with China. For that to happen, Venezuela must be helped to see the US as an enemy, and China as a friend ... an oil hungry friend, but a friend none the less.

Who's the prefect person to help that along? Castro, of course. He acts as a surrogate (a guy with a real axe to grind with the US), and pulls in a little Chinese aid on the side. The Chinese do a few "make Chavez seem like a big man" Grenada-like projects (Chavez looks good and feels good about his growing reputation in Latin American circles) and it all works beautifully for the Chinese and against the US.

Or I could be all wet and Hugo Chavez is just a tin-foil job.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

No you are just a jealous low life looser wishing you could be half the man as Mr. Chavez but that will never be so you continue your comments on things that are of nothing of your buisness nor the USA buisness.

You do not know nothing of the Chinese or the Venezuela that is why you will never know if it were your buisness than you wouldn’t be wondering would you be?

Mind your own buisness.

Alison Shunstrom
Written By: Alison Shunstrom
URL: http://
China is quite subtle, and having an extended history of using 3rd parties to advance their longterm goals, it would be most naive to discount their motivations in all this. They have been interested in South and Central America for many years. Americans do not understand that China thinks and plans in the long term. Not 5-10 years. 50-200 years, their perspective is from a position of many hundereds of years dealing with the"foriegn devils". As for Mr. Chavez, he has had ambitions outside of Venezuela since before he was elected. Part of his mindset is that he was shunned by other leaders in the ’90s, he has often stated that the world will take him seriously. Now we begin to have a glimpse of HOW he plans to make this happen. He does appear to be using the North Korean model for achieving his magnified status in global politics.
Written By: 2Hotel9
URL: http://
Wouldn’t rising oil prices hurt American consumerism more than it already has? If our trade defecit is mainly due to trade with China would they risk getting on our bad side over oil, especially considering the nuclear reactors they’re building?
Written By: KirkH
There have been reports of Iraqi moukharabat and Iranian Savama funding for Chavez’s campaign, that have appeared in the Herald, several years ago, according to former officials of the DISIP, Similar reports, have pointed
out his Middle East solidarity tour in the immediate monthes before 9/11,
pledging that Venezuela, & Iran/Libya could ’bring the US down". This of
course, has disappeared down the left’s memory hole, like contrary evidence
of the real culprit for the Cuban Air Aviation of July 1976; but that too
eludes the eyes of google
Written By: narciso
URL: http://
Chavez is the walking dead. Castro will be burning in hell very soon. Alison Shunstrom is a communist yenta. Russia will nuclear burn china to the ground by 2014 when they attack from the mongolian plains....

Enjoy the future
Written By: Alex DeLarge
China has a $600 billion dollar economic bomb it is prepared to drop on int’l money markets when it decides it want to take Taiwan back for good. It is already rehearsing the invasion right now, it is deploying its first fleet of ballistic nuclear missile submarines to the US west coast, capable of hitting anywhere in the US. Expect China to drop their dollar reserves in the summer of 06 or 08, to throw the US election into turmoil and wreck the economy and the dollar, leaving us unable to support Taiwanese resistance with a logistical train across the pacific. Oil will hit $200-$500/bbl, and we may not be able to afford fueling the US Navy, not to mention a merchant fleet. The strategic oil reserve will be crucial at that point.

Their support of Venezuela is another leg of the strategy, esp wrt Grenada, as Grenada is amidst the primary shipping lane into the US gulf coast (the same reason the Cubans were in Grenada in the Reagan years). Expect Venezuela to assist China by helping to blockade the US southern coast from middle east oil shipments.
Written By: Mike Lorrey
I wonder: why is it that countries that export oil tend towards the insane?

It can’t possibly be a coincidence...

Written By: b-psycho
Listen Alex DeLarge you are just embarrasing yourself .
You are just like that writer, you know of nothing so you should speak of nothing.

I am a communist?
You know nothing about me and for your remark about Russia and China you are a real stupid "man" you fool, they are and will be close more than you or any body else knows.

Oh yah you do not know because it is not your buisness, just to give you a liitle more educated information Venezuela is right beside them among many more.

The only country that will stand alone is and will be the USA with people like you and low life Bush, your pathetic.

Now you have been shocked right now I know but just wait you will be even more later, you low life of a "man"?

I can get you help on how to be a real man, go beg on your knees to Mr. Chavez, Mr.Putin, Mr.Castro and Mr. Jintao and maybe these true great men will teach you a thing or two on how to be a real man.

Do not ever talk about something or someone that you know nothing of, got it?
Written By: Alison Shunstrom
URL: http://
Yo Alison - lighten up! "Do not ever talk of something that you know nothing of?" Umm, I must be naive, but I thought that was how we learn. Ask questions, listen to repsonses... but I guess you just get your knowledge from the coolaid.
Written By: Chuckles
yeah, someone is embarrassing themselves, and I think it "the Allison".

How come we get more loony DU-ites like "the Allison". So wonderfully argument and logic free. You could literally starve to death on arguments like that.

But laughter, it’s got to be a joke, since it cracked up reading that stuff. C’mon "the Allison", make fun of me too. I too ever talk about something that I know, got it?
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I wonder: why is it that countries that export oil tend towards the insane?
I don’t know, but I do know it holds true for Alaska. I except myself, of course. :-)
Written By: David in AK
URL: http://
I have lived in venezuela for sometime now and all i can really say as an American that the U.S really is a shitty country now to live in..You never hear the truth were is freedom if the country is always hiding things from there own people. The gov. says that we are not a comi country we are democrates but what do you call all the policing now in the states you cant do shit its all about what they want you to do work for the a puppie now as for chavez great he has some balls to stand up to the U.S. although his army would never win a scuffle with us. all i am saying is this man is looking at the poor and helping them he has started programs for reading ,health,and food centers were as for american back politics in venezuela just steal money....ohh ya do you really think the 52 billion that goes to fight drug traffiking in columbia is to get rid of drugs ya right...Thats how the states buys cocain straight from the columbian gov. then imports it to the states and the cia push it to the streets ....its all bullshit ....As a proud AMERICAN BORN MAN not living in the states for some time now i would have to say fuck the us goverment lick nuts you fuckin comi neo-nazi basterds running the country but as for the helpless citezens who still live under neo liberism ....MOVE OUT BEFORE ITS TO LATE......move to europe like i have now...chillen in the E.U. bye E.U. MAN
Written By: andrew kovacs
URL: http://

Written By: andrew kovacs
URL: http://
Righhhht. Your government, and your corporate controlled media says that Chavez is a bad guy, so hey, it must be true. Right? The American media is using terms such as "Venezuela’s authoritarian ruler", and talking about how the Bush Junta is questioning his "weakening of democratic institutions".

Its funny you know. Because Chavez was elected by a wide majority in 2000 for a six year term. In 2004 he won an even bigger majority in a recall referendum that was organized by the opposition. Current opinion polls indicate that his party will consolidate power in upcoming state elections as well. Could it be that your government only respects the choice of the people when its a choice that ensures the US can continue to use 25% of the worlds energy for the 4% of the population which inhabits it?

I guess the position of the U.S. doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that Chavez has told them to take their Free Trade Agreement of the Americas and shove it up their incredibly overweight a—es. Nor does it have anything to do with it looking for new markets in China and Europe I’m sure.

But there are some bad things going on in Venezuela under Chavez right now that’s for sure. The redistribution of the oil wealth from the 20% of the population that used to control it to the 80% that were so poor they made the folks in your mid-west trailer parks seem like denizens of Rodeo Drive...bad.... real bad. How about the fact that 1 million illiterate adults are now reading? I say we nuke em...........

Final word. Your media has been talking about how Chavez has been undermining democratic principles by imposing media controls. Translated, this rather sinister sounding statement actually means that he started a state run television station. He did this to counter all of the private stations that are run by the 20% who used to own all of the oil wealth in Venezuela. Might be time y’all thought about taking a page out of his book.

The only hope we have for the short term is for the American people to turn off Survivor, put down their "Guns and Ammo", and open their eyes and SEE what their government is doing.
Written By: Neil from Canada
URL: http://
Neil, I agree with you this could not have been said better....
Written By: andrew kovacs
URL: http://
Thanks Andrew. Sorry things are getting so screwed up in your country right now. Also sorry to hear that you’ve left, because its people like you that are needed there right now to try and wake everybody up.

It really is getting progressively worse when you’re looking at things from the outside right now. When people question the government they’re immediately attacked and accused of being anti-American. Since when is it anti-American to question every move that your government makes? Isn’t that what the founding fathers had in mind?

The corporate media in the U.S. is getting really bad. All they do now is analyse government actions as opposed to questioning it. For example, when they were planning on going into Iraq, Bush (or should I say Cheney) said it was in order to stop Hussein from developing WMDs. After the war started and it was clear that there were never any WMDs, and that the intelligence was bad, Bush started saying that the main reason the US went in was to establish democracy in the Middle East. Instead of questioning this about face from Bush, the media started asking if democracy was possible within the Arab culture, if it was possible among the factions in Iraq, etc., etc.

People should think about this. Lets suppose that I were a reporter working in the press pool at the White House. I stood up at a press conference with the President and asked the following question:

"Mr. President, prior to the invasion of Iraq your main reason for the war was to stop Saddam from developing WMDs. Since it has now become clear that there never were any WMDs, your administration has begun stressing the need to bring ’freedom and democracy’ to the people of Iraq as the basis for the war. Based on the fact that your previous reasoning proved to be false, why should the American people believe that this new statement represents the reason for the invasion? Mr. President, would it not be more accurate to say that a number of geopolitical factors began to develop which prompted your administration to begin planning for an invasion of Iraq prior to 911? Specifically, in the period of time prior to and just after your election, did it not become clear to the previous administration, and your administration that the 700 billion barrels of oil that were thought to exist in the Caspian Basin in fact did not exist? That the actual number was closer to 65 billion barrels? Would it not be accurate to state that this new development drastically changed the estimates for oil-production capacity and the administration realized that capacity was far below what was required to maintain oil prices at a level, which would not pose a serious risk to the global economy? Mr. President, would it not be accurate to state that the real reason for going into Iraq was that the administration realized that Iraq’s reserves, not only the second largest in the world, but virtually untouched, must be brought online as soon as possible in order to prevent oil price increases which would prove very damaging to the global economy, thus threatening the United States’ position within that economy?"

Question, if I stood up and asked that question, would I ever be allowed back into the press pool? When I returned to my boss at the newspaper, would I still have a job? Answer, most definitely not. The newspaper would in fact be completely pissed that I had damaged their relationship with the White House and that they were likely barred from the press pool for quite some time. Not to mention the fact that I had raised a line of questioning which was not in the interest of the newspapers corporate controllers.

Like I said, only the American People are going to be able to stop what’s going on right now. In order to do that, they need to get educated. They have to turn off the corporate media and start reading some books. May I suggest George W. Bush, The White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neil for starters, followed on the many books on peak oil. While I am not yet convinced that we are at or near global peak oil, these books are great for explaining what is coming, and what the current production crisis means for the global economy.
Written By: Neil from Canada
URL: http://
Dam neal that really got me wondering im going to try to get those books thanks
Written By: andrew kovacs
URL: http://
Please tell me Neil, what information tells us that it is clear that there was never any WMDs in Iraq? Many very educated experts on the war state that it is very likely that the WMDs were moved to two locations in Syria. You have no information that this is not the case.
The main reason for attacking Hussein was to stop the slaughter of 1.3 million people and the threat to the U.S. It was long over due.
Being a socialist the 1.3 million doesn’t bother you since it does not promote your far left agenda. You so quickly dismiss all those lives and the threat to the U.S. Why? Because you resent our power, and because we, as usual, will have to foot the bill for your country and all the rest when it comes to the security of the world.
The difference in us is that we will not settle for being bombed and murdered by terrorists on a regular basis because we tried to make a deal with the devil as Europe has done. If you want to live that way you are free to do so thanks to us.
Written By: Janet Doran U.S.
URL: http://
First of all Janet Americans like you got us in this mess in the first place calling other people a devil why did we go there???? For oil thats all nothing more.So skip the bullshit and get down to the nitty gritty its all for money.Why are we screwing with President Chavez for oil the only reason the U.S. will not invade is because it will screw up thier Latin American relations..My suggestion to you is open your eyes.
Written By: andrew kovacs
URL: http://
Neil and Andrew, Now there are two men who knows what is going on in the world.
It is great to know that there are people out there who accept the truth and who are not afraid to say it.
The most to stand up for what is right, don’t worry soon the USA will not be able to threaten, invade and kill anyone anymore ever again, Bush and the rest of his followers time is soon up.
I just hope that the majority of the people wake up before it is too late and face reality and the truth.
Written By: Aliosn Shunstrom
URL: http://
Janet Doran you are just an ignorant stupid fool.
Who the hell do you think you are?
Any Country can have any weapons they want and they can do what they want they do not have to get permission or answer to the USA or low life people like you.

The USA and scum people like you will learn the hard way, just wait and let their be no mercy on you.
Written By: Aliosn Shunstrom
URL: http://
Hey folks, the US is us—we are Jews and Sikhs, Muslims and Jains, Christians and Agnostics.
We are the source of open and free education—many of you have been educated in this great democracy. The US truly reflects the rest of the world and was founded on the greatest principles that gives ALL of humanity a chance.
I live here and watch Mexicans coming into the US by huge numbers and right in my neighborhood there is a large Muslim community. All of them have access to welfare and are protected by the decent and humane laws of the American people.
You are all US—dont forget it. If the US goes down who will protect your freedom or feed you ? —Russia or China—read the history folks—
The USA has made some serious mistakes and there is greed and selfishness here—but there is also a representation of ALL the nations of the world here—Before name calling and hateful statements, why not use real intelligence and form solid bonds to ensure some type of future for ALL of our young folks no matter where their from.
V Melito
Written By: Vince Melito
URL: http://
Hey folks, the US is us—we are Jews and Sikhs, Muslims and Jains, Christians and Agnostics.
We are the source of open and free education—many of you have been educated in this great democracy. The US truly reflects the rest of the world and was founded on the greatest principles that gives ALL of humanity a chance.
I live here and watch Mexicans coming into the US by huge numbers and right in my neighborhood there is a large Muslim community. All of them have access to welfare and are protected by the decent and humane laws of the American people.
You are all US—dont forget it. If the US goes down who will protect your freedom or feed you ? —Russia or China—read the history folks—
The USA has made some serious mistakes and there is greed and selfishness here—but there is also a representation of ALL the nations of the world here—Before name calling and hateful statements, why not use real intelligence and form solid bonds to ensure some type of future for ALL of our young folks no matter where their from.
V Melito
Written By: Vince Melito
URL: http://

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