Venezuela Buys Arms from Russia, Hints at a Nuke Program

| Thu Jul. 27, 2006 7:39 PM EDT

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Uh-oh:

[Guardian] Russia signed a £1.6 billion [$3 billion] arms deal with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela today, risking a confrontation with the U.S., which has imposed an arms embargo on the South American country.

The outspoken Venezuelan president, who has claimed that America wants to assassinate him and pledged cheap heating fuel for London's poor, also told reporters in Moscow that his country could develop its own nuclear program.

Earlier this month, Chavez looked deep into the soul of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an African Union summit and liked what he saw. "Doesn't Iran have the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful means?" he asked--rhetorically--while Ahmadinejad returned the compliment by lashing out at "bullying powers" who "think the countries and nations of the world must be their slaves. I know how the oppressed people of Africa and Latin America have suffered." Good thing we have so much leverage with both these countries.