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Chavez considering arming one million people


__Kratos__
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that he was considering the purchase of enough rifles to arm one million Venezuelans ready to repel a possible U.S. invasion.

During a speech warning his supporters that Washington was considering an invasion of Venezuela, Chavez said that 100,000 Russian-built Kalashnikov assault rifles would not be enough to defend the country.

"We still need a higher number of rifles. The 100,000 Russian rifles are not enough, Venezuela needs to have one million well-equipped and well-armed men and women," he said.

"I've started making contacts with some countries" that would be able to supply the rifles, Chavez told the crowd of supporters to a rousing applause.

Tensions between Washington and Caracas have been tense in recent months in part due to U.S. criticism of Venezuela's purchases of military equipment, including 100,000 Russian-made assault rifles.

During Saturday's speech, Chavez extended his war of words with Washington, comparing U.S. President George W. Bush to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler while commemorating a failed 1992 coup he led as a lieutenant colonel.

"If any president in this world is similar, including physically, to Adolf Hitler it is Mr. Danger," said Chavez, prompting cheers from his supporters following a march through Caracas.

"The imperialist, mass murdering, fascist attitude of the president of the United States doesn't have limits. I think Hitler could be a nursery baby next to George W. Bush," Chavez added.

The Venezuelan leader's statements came amid one of the worst diplomatic spats between Caracas and Washington in recent years.

They came in response to comments made on Thursday by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who compared Chavez to Hitler and warned darkly about populist leadership in Bolivia and Cuba.

Earlier Saturday, tens of thousands of Chavez supporters wearing replicas of the president's trademark beret marched through the Venezuelan capital shouting "Yankee Imperialism, No! Revolution, Yes!"

"Chavistas," as the president's backers are known, accused the United States of conspiring to overthrow Chavez, saying U.S. spies have attempted to stir discontent within the military in hopes of ousting him.

"The gringos are trying to infiltrate Venezuela's armed forces, but Chavez is here to stay," said Vladimir Enriquez, a 44-year-old mechanic.

Enriquez, and others who joined the sea of government supporters, criticized Washington for ordering a Venezuelan diplomat to leave the country in what the State Department said Friday was retaliation for the expulsion of a U.S. naval officer from Caracas a day earlier.

Venezuela expelled U.S. naval attache John Correa for allegedly passing secret information from Venezuelan military officers to the Pentagon.

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Saturday that Chavez "would soon present conclusive and irrefutable proof of the naval commander's conspiratorial activities."

"We aren't going to present them to (U.S. Ambassador William) Brownfield, we are going to present them to the Venezuelan people," he said.

On the other side of Caracas, thousands of opposition sympathizers marched to protest what they perceive as increasing authoritarianism under Chavez and strongly condemned the bloody coup attempt he led as a lieutenant colonel 14 years ago.

More than 80 civilians and 17 soldiers were killed on February 4, 1992, before troops loyal to then-President Carlos Andres Perez quelled the short-lived putsch. Chavez has celebrated the rebellion's anniversary every year since he took office in 1999.

Chavez supporters remember the failed coup as a violent but justified attempt to replace a corrupt government.

The president's political adversaries argue the failed coup was an unnecessary uprising that threatened one of South America's oldest democracies.

"Venezuela's democracy is threatened" by Chavez, said 60-year-old retiree Luis Cuevas, who accused the president of "looking for problems with the United States" as a means of turning attention away from the country's domestic problems.

Chavez has repeatedly accused the United States of plotting to overthrow him, or even invade Venezuela. He says an invasion would trigger an immediate halt to oil shipments. Washington has strongly denied any such plans.

Source

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I can only assume he will be buying these rifles from China, since the source is China daily. Of everything in the world right now, does he really think the US is going to make an invasion in South America? :blink: I think he needs some prozac to calm his paranoia.

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Ahh, the mouse who roars.

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Chavez supporters remember the failed coup as a violent but justified attempt to replace a corrupt government.

I guess his supporters don't understand irony :rolleyes:

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President Chavez and President Fox are doing some heavy drugs right!!!!! Maybe it is the latin American heat that is causing a misfire in their brains. Whatever the cause of their unfortunate mental disorders they are both leading their countries down a path of ruin. These two are Prozac poster boys.

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Does not look good for Venezuelan democracy. Looks good for Chavez for being dictator for life. Try to be a member of the opposition, and have hundreds of AK-47 weaving "militia members" outside your office. And I would not like to vote if there is an armed mob outside the voting booth.

There is one situation where I can see the U.S. intervene in Venezuela, and that is if millians of Venezlians flee a dictatorship and start heading twords the U.S.A. Since Columbia, Brazil and Guyana can not handle 10 or 20 million refugee. So the only thing for them to look at is excile in the U.S. Think of the Cuban boat people trying to get to Florida - and multiply that by 100. Remember the Indo-Pakastani war of 1971 came about in part because India could not take care of the millions of refugees that were escaping to India from the, then East Pakastan.

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A little info from the region:

While i dont like Chavez (to demagogic for me), he has done a lot of good for Venezuela (thanks to the petrodollars) than the rest of the USA friendly democratic (and non-democratic) goverments. USA did back the atempt of coup, has it backed a lot of coups in South and Central America govs in the las 40 years. Only when the USA stop the "you are our backyard" actitude, the rest of America will have some respect for the USA.

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He is a Democraticly Elected Leader of his country that is very rich in Oil. I would be a bit paranoid to if the United States backed the people who tryed to kill me.

His people like him, hes pumping alot of money into his nation and not linning his pockets.

~Thanato

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And weapons mean nothing if they can't use em right...

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hah. I'd laugh if the next thing we hear is "President Chavez overthrown in a coup" after many people revolt, using the weapons he gave them.

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Oh boy. People are just asking to start a disaster.

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