Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hugo Chavez's Prediction & Molten Eagle's Question

Hugo Chavez's Prediction: I bet a dollar to Mr. Bush to see who will last longer: Him there in the White House or this Venezuelan, Hugo Chavez, here in the Mira Flores Palace. Let's see who lasts longer, Mr. Bush.

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (51), former paratroop officer and leader of an unsuccessful coup d'état in 1992, became El Presidente de Venezuela in 1998. Chavez is a very popular socialist who sports a new constitution, social programs, and foreign policy 'reforms' largely distancing Venezuela from the United States while closely embracing China.

Chavez comment (Aug 27th): ...there is plenty of evidence that the U.S. supported plots (for his assassination).

In March, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized Venezuela's efforts to purchase 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia. Small arms are hard to track and could easily fall into guerrilla hands, even if Chavez does not intend for them to be transferred to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC). The first batch of 28,000 rifles, costing just $386.22 each, will arrive next month.

Venezuela is also buying Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, and 15 Russian attack helicopters for delivery this year. Meanwhile, Aug. 25 (Xinhuanet) Venezuelan plans to buy three, new submarines from now through 2010 to modernize its armed forces, Navy Commander Armando Laguna said.

More commentary: Chavez responded with scathing personal attacks against (Condoleeza) Rice, calling her "pathetic" and "illiterate." He's even made sexual jokes. -Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

"Internationally, he wants to replace Castro as leader of the left." - Miguel Diaz, Latin America Analyst

Molten Eagle's question: (According to Venezuelan, male mortality figures, Chavez can expect to live for 20 more years. The presidential term of office is six years and a president may be re-elected to a single consecutive term (corrected 9-26). Chances are very good Chavez's prediction of outlasting G.W. Bush will prevail in about 3 years) When a less stable leader eventually takes the reigns of this modernized military and its $2 billion+ annual budget will he have a Chinese or Korean surname?


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