Friday, November 04, 2005

Another piece to the puzzle 

The U.S., which we just saw does have military contingency plans for invading Venezuela and is in fact updating and expanding them, now is trying to to put an arms embargo on Venezuela. It previously got Spain not to sell Venezuela some aircraft and it has now gotten Israel not not sell Venezuela and military equipment at all:

Israeli sources in Washington told "Globes" that US demands that Israel refrain from arms deals with Venezuela “were not relevant” to Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz’s talks in Washington.
The sources said that Mofaz’s main mission was rehabilitating Israel’s strategic relations with the US, but that the question of military transactions between Israel and Venezuela were not part of those relations. “Nothing but a bunch of technical licensing problems are involved, which should be discussed at a lower level, not by ministers,” the sources remarked.

In a talk with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon on Friday, Mofaz will discuss issues involving strategic relations, including settling future agenda for joint Israel-US work teams and renewal of Israeli participation in the design of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Israeli sources in Washington belittled the importance of closing the Venezuelan defense market to Israeli defense industries, saying that their point of view on the issue was not the only one to be considered.

As reported in October, the US is refusing to allow Israel to upgrade the Venezuelan Air Force’s F-16s because of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s anti-US policy. The ban is legitimate, because the upgrade requires the purchase of US parts, and relies on US technology, both of which require permission from the US.

The US, however, is demanding more. Israeli officials quoted in the new issue of “Defense News” say that a State Department letter to Israel late this summer demanded an indefinite freeze in potential arms deals between Israel and Venezuela, and the cancellation of defense deals that had already been signed.

A senior Ministry of Defense official told “Defense News” that the military embargo that the US wanted Israel to impose on Venezuela also includes purely Israeli technology and systems that had been developed with no US inputs, which ostensibly do not require a US export permit.

Why the arms embargo against Venezuela. Has Venezuela invaded someone? Have they even threatend to militarily attack anyone? No. Clearly any arms Venezuela purchases are for use in defending Venezuela.

So why would the U.S. be opposed to Venezuela being able to defend itself? Guesses anyone?


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