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Chavez...foe

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9895504/

 

 

Chavez may hand U.S. F-16 jets to Cuba, China

Venezuelan leader snipes at Washington, cozies up to communist nations

 

Updated: 8:48 a.m. ET Nov. 2, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Tuesday said his government may give its U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Cuba or China and replace them with Chinese or Russian aircraft after accusing Washington of blocking purchases of U.S. military parts.

 

Any exchange of military hardware to those countries would break an agreement with the U.S. government on the transfer of technology without Washington's permission and further strain fraying ties between Venezuela and the United States.

 

A fierce critic of the U.S. administration, Chavez has rattled Washington by strengthening ties with anti-U.S. states like Cuba and promoting his self-described socialist revolution as a counterweight to U.S. regional influence.

 

"If they don't comply with the contract ... we can do whatever we want with these aircraft, whatever the hell we want. Maybe we'll give 10 planes to Cuba or to China so they can study the technology," Chavez said. "We don't need any U.S. imperialism."

 

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Caracas had no comment on Chavez's remarks.

 

Israeli media reported last month that Washington had blocked a sale of technology to Venezuela to upgrade its F-16 fighters, which are made by Lockheed Martin Corp. and powered by engines made by General Electric Co. or Pratt and Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

 

U.S. officials have not confirmed the reports.

 

Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter and a key supplier to the U.S. market, was a traditional military ally to the United States. But relations deteriorated steadily after Chavez was elected in 1998.

 

Chavez fosters new friendships

Chavez, a former army officer, made his statement during a ceremony to sign a contract with China to build a Venezuelan communications satellite and train Venezuelan specialists in China to manage the technology.

 

Washington sold Venezuela 24 F-16 fighter aircraft in the 1980s when Caracas was seen as an ally against communist Cuba. It was unclear how many of the jets are operational now.

 

In constant tit-for-tat sniping, Chavez often accuses Washington of planning his assassination, while U.S. officials counter he has become a regional menace by using his oil revenues to finance anti-democratic groups in South America.

 

Venezuela still sells most of its crude oil to the U.S. market, but Chavez has moved to diversify economic partners by strengthening ties with countries like Russia, China, Iran and his South American neighbors.

 

In a sign of waning relations, Chavez last year downgraded military relations with the United States by asking Washington to close down liaison offices at Venezuelan military bases.

 

Venezuela recently announced the purchase of automatic rifles and attack helicopters from Russia, naval vessels from Spain and military aircraft from Brazil in an effort to revamp its armed forces.

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Chavez amazes me because he doesn't understand that China is moving toward a more democratic state and the only countries still moving left are in Central America and South America.

While he is proving himself to be annoying, I don't think this move will really make any difference. China needs the US to buy all that stuff they make.

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Chavez amazes me because he doesn't understand that China is moving toward a more democratic state and the only countries still moving left are in Central America and South America.

 

While in this case it may be correct but are you implying that socialism in nature is somehow less democratic?

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The Pentagon says that Chavez broke contract by not allowing the Pentagon to inspect the aircraft and their security measures, a standard part of U.S. aircraft sale agreements.

 

Chavez says the U.S. broke contract by refusing to sell Venezuela spare parts.

 

The contract has clearly been broken by both sides. The only question I have...which is currently unanswered...is who broke the contract first?

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QUOTE(RockRaines @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 07:37 PM)
hes there right now.

yea but chavez is in argentina. now dang it how is this going to get solved? :angry:

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If only some of the planes are operational right now, because of the lack of spare parts, and if we are not selling any spare parts to Venezuela, then if Chavez sells the planes to Castro, they won't work anyway. Lockheed Martin or GE certainly won't sell any spare parts to Castro.

 

Even if Chavez sells the planes to Castro, Fidel still has to get someone to train his pilots how to fly the planes and use their weapons systems, which he probably doesn't have any armament for anyway. Does Chavez have enough pilots trained in the F-16 who are loyal enough to him to ferry the planes to Cuba and train the Cuban Air Force?

 

Chavez is twisting the Tiger's tail, nothing more.

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QUOTE(Mplssoxfan @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 01:26 PM)
If only some of the planes are operational right now, because of the lack of spare parts, and if we are not selling any spare parts to Venezuela, then if Chavez sells the planes to Castro, they won't work anyway.  Lockheed Martin or GE certainly won't sell any spare parts to Castro. 

 

Even if Chavez sells the planes to Castro, Fidel still has to get someone to train his pilots how to fly the planes and use their weapons systems, which he probably doesn't have any armament for anyway.  Does Chavez have enough pilots trained in the F-16 who are loyal enough to him to ferry the planes to Cuba and train the Cuban Air Force?

 

Chavez is twisting the Tiger's tail, nothing more.

There's a lot more value in having an opponents plane than you get just from being able to fly it against the opponent.

 

If you can just get 1 of them to fly somehow, you can rapidly learn its capabilities. Weaknesses, particular strengths, etc. We've done this with Soviet fighters in the past - it's how we learned about a blind spot on one of the MiG's we fought in the middle part of the century (I can't remember exactly which one). You can learn how to beat an enemy fighter by getting your hands on one of them.

 

Or, even worse, there are technical aspects of those fighters that we don't want falling into the hands of other aircraft designers. There's a reason that we monitor the security of them. If, say a Chinese airplane manufacturer got th eir hands on a full F-16, it would not be hard at all for them to reverse-engineer the thing and produce a version of the F-16 that their own air forces could use.

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QUOTE(Balta1701 @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 03:55 PM)
There's a lot more value in having an opponents plane than you get just from being able to fly it against the opponent.

 

If you can just get 1 of them to fly somehow, you can rapidly learn its capabilities.  Weaknesses, particular strengths, etc.  We've done this with Soviet fighters in the past - it's how we learned about a blind spot on one of the MiG's we fought in the middle part of the century (I can't remember exactly which one).  You can learn how to beat an enemy fighter by getting your hands on one of them.

 

Or, even worse, there are technical aspects of those fighters that we don't want falling into the hands of other aircraft designers.  There's a reason that we monitor the security of them.  If, say a Chinese airplane manufacturer got th eir hands on a full F-16, it would not be hard at all for them to reverse-engineer the thing and produce a version of the F-16 that their own air forces could use.

 

 

Trouble with that theory is the following. First, the models of F16 we sell to foregin nations is a stripped down version of what our Air force uses. Second, the planes were sold something like 20 years ago and are quite obsolete.

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QUOTE(NUKE_CLEVELAND @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 03:40 PM)
Trouble with that theory is the following.  First, the models of F16 we sell to foregin nations is a stripped down version of what our Air force uses.  Second, the planes were sold something like 20 years ago and are quite obsolete.

I think you would be surprised as to how our "Obselete" equipment compares in design and quality to the modern Chinese designs.

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QUOTE(KipWellsFan @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 12:47 PM)
While in this case it may be correct but are you implying that socialism in nature is somehow less democratic?

 

Well I guess that can be in the eye of the beholder, but my point still stands that these countries continue to move against the rest of the world.

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QUOTE(G&T @ Nov 4, 2005 -> 05:44 PM)
Well I guess that can be in the eye of the beholder, but my point still stands that these countries continue to move against the rest of the world.

I disagree with that sentiment. How many left-leaning governments have we seen elected a vehement reactions to what is going on in the U.S.? South Korea. Brazil. Spain. Etc.

 

(This of course excludes places where elections don't happen)

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Chavez is just screaming to be assassinated.

 

In the meantime, I think everyone can agree we really need to stop selling old military equipment to third world thugs.

Edited by JHBowden

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Many questions to be answered:

 

If there is a war between Venezuela and the U.S., does Ozzie stay as manager of the White Sox and does Freddy stay?

 

If Chavez is assasinated, does Ozzie automatically become front runner for President of Venezuela? I mean, he did just win a World Series.

 

Does Freddy become his right hand man?

 

Lots of important questions remain to be answered.

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The U.S. is calling chavez a liar with regards to the spare parts.

 

The United States recently sent replacement parts to Venezuela for U.S.-made warplanes, American officials said, denying claims that it had not honored a supply contract.

 

President Hugo Chavez threatened this week to give Venezuela's F-16s to Cuba or China, because of what he said was Washington's failure to supply spare parts.

 

But an embassy official said the U.S. had provided parts needed to maintain the safety of the F-16s.

 

A second official said a shipment of cartridges for ejector seats and other components had arrived at Caracas' La Guaira airport two weeks ago.

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Okay, assuming that we're selling him the spare parts, doesn't that mean that there are Lockheed Martin techies working on the planes? If there are, and Chavez goes through with his crazy threat (he won't, but still), the Lockheed guys will sabotage the planes, right? Just like happened in Iran when the Shah got deposed.

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QUOTE(Mplssoxfan @ Nov 5, 2005 -> 01:51 PM)
Okay, assuming that we're selling him the spare parts, doesn't that mean that there are Lockheed Martin techies working on the planes?  If there are, and Chavez goes through with his crazy threat (he won't, but still), the Lockheed guys will sabotage the planes, right?  Just like happened in Iran when the Shah got deposed.

If we are selling him the parts and he's not letting them inspect the things...then they can't do an ything about them. If we are selling him the parts, that means he's openly lying about the U.S. being in breach of contract.

 

If the U.S. is not in breach of contract, and he's still threatening to sell the planes to China/Cuba, I think that taking out the planes by means of a military strike should be considered an option. If the U.S. is not in breach of contract, then there is no excuse for this behavior, and those planes should be considered a major security risk.

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