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  • Chavez, Iran and Missiles: A Dangerous Step

    The Berlin-based daily Die Welt published a news story on May 13 citing “Western security sources” who reported that Venezuela’s authoritarian strongman Hugo Chavez secretly met in February 2011 with the chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Air Force, Amir al-Hadschisadeh.

    The pair, according to Die Welt, finalized the location for a missile base, said to be located on the Peninsula de Paraguana, a jut of land 120 kilometers from the Colombian border. Engineers from the Iranian state-owned construction agency Khatam al-Anbia, Die Welt added, have already begun preliminary work on the base.

    Thus far there has been no response from the Obama Administration.

    Chavez has long expressed interest in acquiring Russian-made missiles. He has purchased and showcased hundreds of shoulder-fired IGLA surface-to-air missiles and has been in the market for Russian S-300 missiles, the same powerful weapon that Russia has thus far denied to Iran. Chavez claims that U.S. aggression is his number one security threat.

    More than one report on Iran’s missile intentions surfaced late last year. With the help of North Korea, Iran continues to extend its missile range capability and may now have weapons with sufficient capacity to reach the U.S. Add a nuclear weapon or WMD and one has a prescription for another Cuban missile crisis.

    The central question that must be asked with increased urgency is: To what lengths will Chavez go to demonstrate the operational commitment of his alliance with Iran? Is this alliance one of rhetorical convenience filled with venom and bluster but little concrete action? Or is it an increasingly cooperative and operational venture that aims at accumulating military power, sharing resources (including access to uranium), and exploiting petroleum ties that will, as Chavez routinely promises, “hasten the end of U.S. imperialism”?

    With an election year looming in 2012, with an increasingly active and united opposition gearing up for the campaign, and with Venezuela’s state-dominated, socialist economy in the doldrums, Chavez might seek more direct conformation with the U.S. as a political and strategic tool to consolidate his authoritarian grip on power.

    For the Obama Administration—which has for the most part refused to take the Chavez challenge seriously and consistently downplays potential strategic security threats in the Western Hemisphere—another unconfirmed press report may be easy to ignore. This would be the wrong approach. The Administration should be open, frank, and authoritative in responding to an issue of high security importance.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Chavez, Iran and Missiles: A Dangerous Step

    1. Redfray, Pea Ridge, says:

      If I was the president, I would aim several high powered missiles toward Chavez's country and make sure all of South America knows about it. When everyone starts making loud noise about our missiles, tell them Chavez started this. Make Chavez responsible for his actions and we will be responsible for our actions.

    2. Ray in NC says:

      Connect the dots. With the uranium mine in La Rioja province of Venezuela and Iran learning more about missiles from North Korea.

      Couple that with Iran and cohorts hating the USA and the added resentment Iran has toward Israel.

      Top that off with the politically destabilized Islamic nations crumbling all around and we have global collapse in the near future and a world war much worse than most people could ever imagine.

      There is no turning away from it – the final gears in this mechanism are already in motion.

    3. Jim, Australia says:

      Redfray, by openly challenging him the President would give Chavez oxygen. He thrives off the publicity he receives by challenging the US. Threatening a missile attack would help unite the country behind him instead of against him.

      It would be better to ignore him publicly and work behind the scenes using whatever covert assets are at the Presidents disposal to delay or sabotage any missile system, as well as through friendly countries like Colombia.

      Let him run his country into the ground in the meantime, how long can 'the revolution' maintain power if it's bankrupt?

    4. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      Chavez survives because of his iron-fisted rule. He is the new Hitler of South America.

    5. Bob Fender, Miss. says:

      Jim, I agree. Ignore the fool, just like the puffery in N. Korea.

    6. Pingback: Peligro: Chávez, Irán y misiles | Heritage Libertad

    7. g. lopez says:

      The way things are going
      Qaddafi might show up in Venezuela and give us the fantastic excuse of harboring genocidal criminals and then we can take both of them in a single sweep you know the same way Noriega came to the US and with any luck one of the Castro brothers would be there that would be the icing on the cake three for the price for one

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