Monday, May 12, 2008

Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle...

Chavez to Order $2 Billion of Russian Arms, Kommersant Reports

By Lyubov Pronina
May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez will order $2 billion of Russian weapons, including submarines, during a visit to Moscow this month, Kommersant reported, without saying where it got the information.
Venezuela, which has bought $4 billion of Russian arms in the last three years, will order four Project 636 diesel subs, Mi-28 combat helicopters and airplanes made by Ilyushin Co., Kommersant said.

Chunk-style has also been purchasing a variety of small arms and equipment, including night-vision goggles and other geegaws useful in guerrilla warfare. The boats are likely Varshavyanka-class submarines, also known as Kilo 636. The subs are powered with diesel fuel and equipped with six torpedo tubes, 18 torpedoes, 24 mines and eight surface-to-air missiles. They're also supposed to be extra quiet and the missiles they carry have a range of 7,500 nautical miles. Last June Chavez bought five of these subs.

Miami is 1360 miles away from the Venezuelan coast. DC is 2053 miles. NYC is 2127 miles, as the crow flies.

The Ilyushins -- troop transport planes, combat helicopters and small arms will come in handy, too, for intimidating the neighbors. Columbia and Brazil must be very...interested right about now. And see if Crazy doesn't involve himself in the tempest brewing between England and Argentina over the Falkands oilfields.

The argument can be made that Putin is unloading a lot of old junk on Chavez, but having learned from back when he used to buy his arms from us only to find we wouldn't supply him with spare parts, now he knows to buy the extended warranty. The boats are coming with parts suppliers, maintenance crews and trainers for the operations crews. In future the Kalashnikovs and their ammo will be manufactured in country. So he is bright enough to become self-sufficient. Sorry if you just lost the bet.

I wonder if this is what would have happened if Tony Montana were given a nation to run.