the washington times

Authoritarian arms

Aug 20--Ominous beginnings of Russian relationship

President Hugo Chavez recently announced that Venezuela will purchase dozens of Russian tanks and other arms, signaling growing military ties between the two countries -- and trouble ahead in the hemisphere.

The deal comes amid tensions with Colombia as Mr. Chavez continues to support the narco-terrorism of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and as he campaigns against the United States using Colombian facilities for anti-drug efforts in the Andes.

The announcement of pending Russian armor purchases follows revelations that the Colombian army recovered Swedish-made anti-tank weapons, sold to the Venezuelan army, in FARC weapons stocks. The Swedish government has confirmed the original sale to Venezuela. Because of the allegation, Mr. Chavez recalled his ambassador and is "freezing relations" with Colombia.
 
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