Venezuela Arming To The Teeth With Modern Weaponry


“Since 2005 Caracas has spent 3.4 billion dollars (2.6 billion euros) on arms from Russia, including 24 fighter planes, 35 military helicopters, air defence systems and 100,000 kalashnikov rifles…”

New Submarines And Fighters Enable Chavez To Project Regional Power

The “new Cuba” in the Caribbean is using oil revenues to arm itself in ways that Castro never could. Venezuela’s nine new Russian submarines are not the diesel subs of the movies or the cold war. The new ones can stay submerged for days and are quieter than their nuclear-powered big brothers.

These subs significantly alter the military balance of power in the Caribbean. Looks like the Dutch had better keep their squadron of F16s in the region because the very purchase of these submarines shows that, no matter what Chavez says at the moment, he has desires other than simple defense.


Venezuela’s Chavez To Finalise Russian Submarines Deal

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to finalise a deal on buying up to nine Russian submarines during a visit here later this month, a Russian newspaper reported on Thursday.

Caracas has already ordered five 636-type diesel submarines and four of a new model of diesel submarine, the 677E Amur, the Kommersant broadsheet said, quoting unnamed sources in the ship-building and arms export sectors.

Chavez may have to settle for the older 636 submarines for the time being as the new 677E Amur has not yet been presented to Russia’s own navy, a source at the arms export agency Rosoboronexport said.

“To start off with they were insisting on only the Amurs but were then persuaded to take the 636 vessels,” the source told Kommersant.

The paper said Chavez planned to visit Russia on June 29, less than a year after a visit last July, the paper said.

If it goes ahead, the deal is likely to become a “new irritant in relations between Moscow and Washington,” the paper commented.

Venezuela has become a major buyer of Russian arms in recent years, angering the United States, which worries about Chavez’s anti-American tone…

… Read the rest at


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, CARICOM, Politics & Corruption

72 responses to “Venezuela Arming To The Teeth With Modern Weaponry

  1. bajejun

    Well when you start alienating the big boys I guess you have to start watching your back.

  2. Bimbro

    Do you think it’s only the ‘big boys’ who need to worry about Chavez?

  3. Pingback: » Venezuela Arming To The Teeth With Modern Weaponry

  4. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados, Venezuela: The Arms Race

  5. There are a lot of Chavez, Noam Chomski supporters and believers in Barbados, I can only hope that Guyana and Dominica can call in these Chavezistas and Chomskiites to persuade Venezuela to giveup their claim to 2/3 of the Land of six people, and Birds Island. But i got a feeling that History will be repeated, that the Old statan to the north will have to send it’s sons and daughters down here once again to protect and or fend off the socialist/communist intent that threathens an ungrateful set of fifedoms. The people of the Caribbean need to wake up to the reality that their leaders thru out history has sold them to the highest bidder, and neglected their ambitions and concerns. One day the Big Statan to the north will come to the realization that they need not support those who do not do like wise.

  6. Marcus2

    Why pick on Venezuela alone? Saudia Arabia is arming itself, Iran is arming itself, Australia is arming itself, Isreal is arming itself by the minute, the Barbados defense force marine wing’s gunboats are soon to be upgraded. Why not mention a few others BFP? Why only Venezuela you are interested in?

  7. Marcus2 I would suggest the “Scientific method” to you. It is 5-6 step process to learning something. You have completed step one, by asking questions, step 2 would be to attempt an answer, hypothesize if you will, then research, investigate and Test your findings, at which point you can say “base on my findings” this is the conclusion I have came too. Try it, it works for me every time.

  8. reality check

    well lets not kid ourselves. No matter what Chavez buys from the Russians and others in terms of military hardware, he is really buying it to sustain his power base in his own country and in and around the Caribbean. This is a very unsophisticated military leader who only understands that might is right.

    All this money is being drained away from the incredibly poor who voted Chavez into power in the first place. Typically this is not about security or improving the lot of the little guy but rather sustaining power at any cost. Sound familiar?

  9. Anonymous

    “Why only Venezuela you are interested in?”
    because Chavez(more so than just “Venezuela”)
    is right in our back yard, about 250 miles away.
    Not far.

    Chavez is up to no good.
    When you see a wacko like that, building up an arms race…look out!

  10. The Pope!

    “All this money is being drained away from the incredibly poor who voted Chavez into power in the first place.”
    – yes, the incredibly poor, incredibly stupid masses who can thank the global forces of Roman Catholicism for having kept them growing up stupid,under the Rosary,
    believing whatever, while reproducing ad infinitum!

    ROMAN CATHOLICISM has the whole of South America in the sticky left-leaning situation it finds itself in,today,
    nothing other than Roman Catholicism.
    It has encouraged stupidity, slave mentality(to the Church) overpopulation…all the ingredients for an Earth-bound HELL situation.

    This will all end in tears, that’s nearly a guarantee.

  11. Bimbro

    Your argument, among other people’s, sounds persuasive, ‘Pope’. In view of your bile against Roman Catholicism did you choose your moniker deliberately, or is it just coincidence?

    I must say that his nearness to Bim and the caribbean generally, does me a bit worried. Has anyone any thoughts on what he’s really up to in addition to just wanting to remain in power?

  12. Thistle

    Bimbro: Chavez obviously has an inferiority complex, hence his ‘superior’ attitude. What is he up to? He knows that Castro’s days are numbered, so he sees himself as the great left-wing hero of the Caribbean. Castro is a baby in comparison to this rising Napoleon. We’re in nuff trouble in this region!

  13. Brabsoda

    He wants 2/3 of Guyana and drilling rights to any oil found around Birds Island. Plain and simple.

  14. Get in The Action

    Look at a map. Chavez is in striking distance. The people who keep bashing the US and Europe will be the first to cry out for help when these 636 subs are sitting off our West and South coasts.

    Hey, with Chavez and his Bolivar revolution we can make Spanish our first language and he won’t even have to shut down any TV station. The CBC propoganda station is a turnkey operation for him.

  15. Chase

    Hey Bimbro…Glad to see you still blogging,guess common sense prevailed 🙂
    I was just researching and came across an article,which caused me to think and think hard.
    Seeing that we are mostly on opposite sides of the fence,tell me what you think of this article.

  16. Warrior

    June 15th, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Bimbro: Chavez obviously has an inferiority complex, hence his ’superior’ attitude.
    Tistle… I love it.
    I wonder if Chavez is family to MM Barney Lynch?

    Who knows.

  17. Thistle

    Warrior: I think you could be right!

  18. Anonymous

    Chavez probably arming to the teeth at least partly because he figures he is on Uncle Sam’s hit list, especially since the great neocon experiment to assert control over Iraq’s oil fields and establish quasi-permanent US military bases in Iraq to extend US control over the oil rich Middle East isn’t going that well right now. Maybe some place closer to home might be looking a more and more attractive option.

    Here’s an interesting article that relates to the issue of military action by the US and how it could be affected by lack of access to oil as the approaching Peak Oil crisis hits. Peak Oil refers to the point when worldwide oil production peaks and then goes into a permanent and irreversible year by year decline. A growing number of energy analysts, oil industry veterans, petroleum geologists and academics are forecasting this could happen within the next 5 to 10 years (see for example ). (For what it’s worth, this short time frame has to date been discounted by government and oil industry sources who claim Peak Oil is probably still 25 or 30 years away.)

    The Pentagon v. Peak Oil
    How Wars of the Future May Be Fought Just to Run the Machines That Fight Them
    By Michael T. Klare

    Sixteen gallons of oil. That’s how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis — either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.

    Multiply that daily tab by 365 and you get 1.3 billion gallons: the estimated annual oil expenditure for U.S. combat operations in Southwest Asia. That’s greater than the total annual oil usage of Bangladesh, population 150 million — and yet it’s a gross underestimate of the Pentagon’s wartime consumption.


    Peak oil is not one of the global threats the Department of Defense has ever had to face before; and, like other U.S. government agencies, it tended to avoid the issue, viewing it until recently as a peripheral matter. As intimations of peak oil’s imminent arrival increased, however, it has been forced to sit up and take notice. Spurred perhaps by rising fuel prices, or by the growing attention being devoted to “energy security” by academic strategists, the DoD has suddenly taken an interest in the problem. To guide its exploration of the issue, the Office of Force Transformation within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy commissioned LMI to conduct a study on the implications of future energy scarcity for Pentagon strategic planning.

    The resulting study, “Transforming the Way the DoD Looks at Energy,” was a bombshell. Determining that the Pentagon’s favored strategy of global military engagement is incompatible with a world of declining oil output, LMI concluded that “current planning presents a situation in which the aggregate operational capability of the force may be unsustainable in the long term.”

    (Page down a bit to get to the start of the article, there are some brief introductory comments before the article starts)

  19. Crusty

    OnJune 15th, 2007 at 7:59 pm, Chase said:

    Seeing that we are mostly on opposite sides of the fence,tell me what you think of this article.

    See also:

    The Monroe Doctrine is a U.S. doctrine which, on December 2, 1823, proclaimed that European powers would no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of the nations of the Americas.

    The doctrine’s authors, especially John Quincy Adams, saw it as a proclamation by the United States of moral opposition to colonialism, but it has subsequently been re-interpreted in a wide variety of ways, including by President Theodore Roosevelt as a license for the U.S. to practice its own form of colonialism, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.

    In practice, the U.S used the Monroe Doctrine to side with whatever side of Caribbean conflicts favoured the United States’ short-term economic interests, rather than definitively drawing a barrier against European interventionism.

    Some allege that, in practice, the Monroe Doctrine has functioned as a declaration of hegemony and a right of unilateral intervention over the nations of the Western Hemisphere — limited only by prudence, as in the case of British possessions. They point to 79 U.S. military interventions in Latin America and Haiti since 1846.

  20. Bimbro

    June 15th, 2007 at 6:43 pm
    Bimbro: Chavez obviously has an inferiority complex, hence his ’superior’ attitude. What is he up to? He knows that Castro’s days are numbered, so he sees himself as the great left-wing hero of the Caribbean. Castro is a baby in comparison to this rising Napoleon. We’re in nuff trouble in this region.

    Hi Guys;

    ‘Morning Thistle, Now you’ve really, got me worried. I went to bed last night feeling not too, bad but now I feel like a rass this morning after reading what you said about Chavez. But before I deal with the important issue let me tell you a little ‘aside’ which happened to me when I was about 16 at school here in the UK.

    I had a crush (fancied) a little Venezuelan girl who was a year younger than me at school. So, eventually I made my move and chatted the young thing! She told me that she was Venezuelan and, in my innocence and no doubt, desire to impress said something like, “oh, you’re from the caribbean, too”! (doan laugh!) De young lady looked at me and said, in that certain way, “I in from de caribbean”! I was stopped dead in my tracks! She clearly, did n’t consider Venezuela to be part of the caribbean! So, from that moment, I just hush my mout (as we would say)! I laugh about it now but at the time, as you can imagine, I was broken-hearted!

    Anyway, it was n’t much longer before she was n’t winding-up in de corner with some white guy, in the Common Room, and he was n’t even as good looking as me! 🙂

    I had to tell that to you all for posterity’s sake! 🙂

    As for Chavez, yes, he is becoming somewhat worrying. He’s found the oil and it appears to have gone to his head. I had n’t been excessively, worried about him until I read the BFP’s article of the other day about his purchasing all these weapons. I mean, who is he thinking he might use them against? Who does he think might want to attack Venezuela or who does he think he might attack! And we’re not talking tommy-guns either but, nuclear subs!

    Very, worrying indeed. The US must be watching him like a hawk and who could blame them!

    I, actually, got the impression that he was trying to do really, good things for his people and other countries in the region but now I’m apprehensive.

    Castro’s obviously, on the way out, but do we need another ‘Castro’, in the caribbean? I must say that when I see reports from Cuba on the box, it does n’t look like we do!

    Has he not also visited, Bim! OMG!

  21. Bimbro

    June 15th, 2007 at 6:45 pm
    He wants 2/3 of Guyana and drilling rights to any oil found around Birds Island. Plain and simple.

    Brabsoda, I dont know where Bird’s Island is but, please don’t say dat. I worried enough as it is!

    An I in even build my bomb-proof-shelter yet!

  22. Adrian Loveridge

    Wikipedia – Isla Aves

    Isla de Aves (Island of Birds)
    70 miles west of Dominica.
    1978, Scientific Naval Base established which was expanded in 2004.
    Regular gun ship patrols.
    Venezuela claims all maritime (mineral rights) for a huge area of the Caribbean. Perhaps the submarines will help protect those claims?

    All those petro Dollars and still so many people living in squalor and ignorance!

  23. Bimbro

    Hi again guys, had to get some breakfast! Thought I’d share that with you! 🙂

    Get in The Action
    June 15th, 2007 at 7:02 pm
    Look at a map. Chavez is in striking distance. The people who keep bashing the US and Europe will be the first to cry out for help when these 636 subs are sitting off our West and South coasts.

    Well said, ‘Get In The Action’. It’s what I’ve said all along. These anti-US, pro-muslim this, that and the other, would soon keep their ass*s quiet if Chavez parked one or two of his subs. off our coast. You just can’t take these people seriously. Need to grow up!

  24. Bimbro

    June 15th, 2007 at 7:59 pm
    Hey Bimbro…Glad to see you still blogging,guess common sense prevailed
    I was just researching and came across an article,which caused me to think and think hard.
    Seeing that we are mostly on opposite sides of the fence,tell me what you think of this article.

    ‘Morning Chase, it’s good of you to remember me. Are we normally, on opposite sides of the fence? I did n’t realise and it really, does n’t matter. They’re so many people on here that most of the time I’m not sure who is who. I can’t be bothered to be always checking back to what this or that person said. So long as the person’s talking reasonable sense, that’s ok by me! I don’t expect any of us to ever necessarily agree 100% on anything. If it happened than fine but it’s not really to be expected!

    However, I hope that you’ve replied to my question(s)/posts in the ‘7th Day Adventist/Muslims forum. Have n’t checked yet.

    As for this post; You know, Chase, I seem to be getting lazier about reading long articles as I grow older. That one you posted is a book! I caan do suh much reading first ting in de morning! My head would bust!

    However, I’m fully in agreement with Raegan’s decision to invade Grenada in ’83 or whenever it was. Left to Thatcher, I think that she’d have just left the criminals and Grenada/Grenadians to rot in their own little small-islan insurrection. I don’t think she might have cared less. Afterall, it was n’t the Falklands and Grenadians are n’t white English.

    Mind you, I’ve had mixed feelings since having met nice as well as sh*t Grenadians. My main worry is CSME, as if I in got enough to be worrying about aready with Chavez with his nuclear sub. plus anything else! I doan know jus how close I want to get to ‘certain’ people in de caribbean! 🙂

    P.S. I’ll try and see if I can read your link sometime when I’m feeling less tired! I in long wake up! 🙂

    You would n’t believe it but at this precise moment and for the last half an hour our so, some military band has been playing/practising around here, somewhere, as if in readiness for war. That base drum is so loud and intimidating – as if I in frighten enough aready! Lord! 🙂

  25. Bimbro

    Adrian Loveridge
    June 16th, 2007 at 8:49 am
    Wikipedia – Isla Aves

    Isla de Aves (Island of Birds)
    70 miles west of Dominica.
    1978, Scientific Naval Base established which was expanded in 2004.
    Regular gun ship patrols.
    Venezuela claims all maritime (mineral rights) for a huge area of the Caribbean. Perhaps the submarines will help protect those claims?

    All those petro Dollars and still so many people living in squalor and ignorance.

    Thanks for that Adrian. I thought he was seeking to genuinely, help his people! How long has he been in power, is Venezuela a democracy? Will have to do my research before I return to the subject!


  26. Rumplestilskin

    Bimbro says :”De young lady looked at me and said, in that certain way, “I in from de caribbean”! I was stopped dead in my tracks! She clearly, did n’t consider Venezuela to be part of the caribbean!”

    Bimbro, I had the same reply years ago from a girl, who also considered her country part of South America, not ‘the Caribbean’.

    She was from Guyana!!!

    But we here all for the CSME!

    Ha. We be de fools.

  27. Crusty

    I don’t agree with all of Chavez’ policies and actions
    anymore than I agree with Castro’s. But in both
    cases, for the majority of the populace, they are
    better than the alternatives on offer at the time.
    Venezuela has had enormous oil wealth since early
    in the 20th century but still has about 40% of the
    people living in abject poverty. ‘Trickle down’ has
    limited effect.

    Outsiders might not agree with Chavez but in the
    last election, with observers reporting a generally
    fair outcome, over 60% of the people voted for him.

    Chavez might be paranoid, or just posturing, but
    he perceives a real threat of American invasion to
    protect American interests. We’ve seen them do it
    numerous times before, using spurious justification.

  28. Get In The Action


    Chavez is very dangerous. Our Caribbean governments have signed away their souls to him with Petro Caribe. As part of the deal Chavez dictated that he has control of holding facilities in each island. Only a matter of time before he insists that he has control of retail operations as well, through Citgo which Venezuela owns. Then he will have total control of supply and distribution and we are at his mercy. If we try to change terms or complain, he has the military to dictate.

    He is rapidly spreading his left wing revolution throughout South America, including arming rebel groups like the FARC in Colombia.

    This man is dangerous for this region.

  29. Bimbro

    ‘Rumplestilskin’, you had the same reply from a girl from Guyana, and still you’re for the CSME?!!!!

    ‘Get In The Action’, what I can’t understand is, if he is so dangerous for the region as you assert, why then do you think our PM (Arthur) is getting so close to him? Who is mis-interpreting the situ., you or he? Afterall, presumably, as PM, Arthur IS in a better position to make an accurate assessment of the situ., is n’t he?!!!

  30. Yardbroom

    I have no problem with the politics of Chavez, that he was democratically elected by the citizens of Venezuela, entitles them to have a leader of their choice. However I fear he will lead them to a situation, which will bring them discomfort, and no long term benefit of the oil revenues which they are fortunate to have.

    He will not be the only politician, who has sought in recent times, to play out their political mind games at the expense of their people.

    When one purchases large amounts of armaments – and there will always be a superpower willing to sell – there must be an identified enemy to repel, if not immediately, in the foreseeable future. That Venezuela has territorial disputes with its neighbours cannot be denied, but that submarines will have any meaningful impact on those escapes me. If the submarines purchase is to send a signal to America, it is a very blunt signal indeed. Venezuela in armed conflict against America is not worthy of further discussion. Even if the submarines were nuclear powered – which they are not – they would be no treat to America, because they are yesterday’s technology when compared to America’s.

    He will not be the only Caribbean politician in recent times, who has not used commom sense and pragmatism in order to achieve tangible long term benefits for their people. Unfortunately Chavez has the benefit of large oil revenues, which make his situation and that of the citizens of Venezuela the more regrettable.

  31. Yardbroom

    Should read…they would be no threat to America.

  32. Financial controller

    Petro Caribe would be a fine deal if a country, any country, could trust its Financial controllers. Take the oil, it’s loaned at 1% interest.

    Then the cash that would have been paid to the oil dealer would be invested in foreign bonds at say 5%. This would earn a net interest rate of 4%. Is it our fault we cannot trust our leaders? And our islands’ managers are not able, nor trustworthy enough, to do this?

    And there is also the question of alliance. We are a western country. We do not side with stupid socialists who ally with Hezbollah, Iran and the like. There are many good reasons for this, mostly based on the premise that we believe in democracy, and the western model of living.

    What a strange world we live in. Up is down, war is peace, freedom is slavery. Here in Barbados we have ability to say what we wish; We are fairly free. We have money to buy computer and car.

    While Venezuelans live in shacks with no water, voting for Chavez, who buys subs for their hunger and standard of living, giving oil away, doubtful if the people will/can ever repay? How long?

  33. Bimbro

    Ok, so I’ve done some reading on Venezuela now and, like Yardbroom, I’m finding it a bit difficult to falut him, too much. He seems to have a genuine love for his people and country coupled with a certain amount of charisma but, is he dangerous, really?

    He’s obviously, a left-winger so his admiration of Castro is n’t a huge surprise although anybody with any sense would see to go down that particular road would only spell doom for his country. Hopefully, he’s wiser than that. However, why he should be courting the likes of Colonel Gaddafi and previously, Saddam Hussein is a complete, mystery to me!

    In spite of having been there for nearly ten years now, his people are still very, poor. Maybe they were ever poorer before, I don’t know!

    ‘Get In The Action’, I sympathise with your worry over Chavez. It seems that all we can do is to hope he is n’t quite as dangerous as you fear! I guess that Arthur will have to mind about getting too, close to him, in case, as you intimate, he turns out to be a snake i.e. untrustworthy!

    Very astute observations there, Yardbroom, especially re: the sub. etc. Mind you, any sub. of that size and power floating around the waters of our region is a worry and is virtually, on a par with Iran getting nuclear power. One has to ask, why! As you suggested, Yardbroom, I don’t think they can seriously, expect to be a threat to the US, so one again has to ask, why?

  34. Coping Mechanism

    “All those petro Dollars, and still so many people living in squalor and ignorance”

    My point exactly.
    Only a coping mechanism as powerful as Roman Catholicism could “empower” the great unwashed masses of asses to endure such crap-lives, without much dissention.

    That’s exactly what religions(coping mechanisms/headgames) are all about.
    The Venezuelan situation is the SUREST example of religion’s success in controlling the masses,
    in the face of great privation.

    Religion WORKS.
    It can and does persuade people,
    via their “faith” (read brainwashed ignorance)
    to put up with(endure) all kinds crapola in their miserable lives of quiet desperation.
    Enjoy, fellas.

    Whatever you do, don’t give up on your “faith”
    because that brave step would free you,
    and then you might have to DO something about your sorry situation – like violent revolution,
    which will be coming Venezuela’s way(again!)
    any time soon. Watch for it!

  35. Bimbro

    I suppose the question has to be asked, ‘is he doing enough for his people, fast enough’? For others to answer.

  36. Straight talk

    The crunch will come for Venezuela, as it did for Saddam and perhaps Iran soon, when Chavez tweaks the lion’s tail once too often and begins to trade his oil in eurodollars.
    Abandoning the petrodollar is the ultimate economic Weapon of Mass Destruction, hundreds of times more potent than a few Russky subs, as it will bring down the whole over-exposed American economy.

  37. Rumplestilskin

    Bimbro….no, I am not for CSME, I used ‘we’ per the official line, Barbados Government et al….who are pushing CSME.

  38. yatinkinkiteasy

    There is a problem with Venezuela`s Claim to “BIRD ISLAND” off of Dominica. Venezuela has “Islas de Aves” or , “ISLANDS of BIRDS”, which are just off the Venezuelan coast, close to Margarita island. They have set up a station on Bird Island, and have conducted Weddings and Baptisms there, to prove that it is Venezuelan territory, and of course they fly the Venezuelan Flag there.Dominican fishermen , who for years enjoyed the abundant lobster and fish around the island, can no longer go there, as they will be shot by Venezuelan marines, stationed on the island. This is what our Caribbean is coming to! And the Dominica Govt and Caricom partners say nothing…because of Petro Caribe deals!…
    The significance of Bird island is not the island itself, as it a mere rock, half covered by sea most of the is that Venezuela can claim a huge Economic Zone around it, that includes most of the Caribbean waters as their own!
    Watch chavez..he is dangerous.

  39. Bimbro

    ‘Straight Talk’, congratulations on understanding the machinations of petro and eurodollars. I don’t. However, what surprises me is that the tone of your post suggests you would like to see the collapse of the US economy. Is that correct?

    Rumplestilskin (way u went looking fuh dat name, anyway :)); You, Straight Talk, and others might be able to provide us with a few higher level arguments for and against the CSME. I mean above not wanting too many Guyanese, Jamaicans in our country, who I believe are there already, anyway. Can you?

    yatinkinkiteasy, thanks for the further info. I guess that petrol speaks with a very loud voice!!!

  40. Bimbro

    I tink dat Chase gone to Bathsheba fuh de weekend! LOL!

  41. Citizen First

    Yatinkinkiteasy, Brabsoda, Adrian Loveridge
    Just to add to your perceptive posts:

    There are two “Aves” islands in the Eastern Caribbean. One near to Margarita and the other 70 miles west of Dominica. It is this second island that is the subject of concern. Both Aves islands are recognised as Venezuelan territories (at least by the U.S.A and France). Subject to correction I believe that Dominica (when ruled by Patrick John) also recognised Venezuelan ownership of the Aves Island. However there seems to have been a rethink on this position particulary in the light of the Law of the Sea which allows a country to measure its Exclusive Economic Zone from islands under its jurisdiction. The problem for Aves island (as Y noted) is that it is covered by water during the passage of hurricanes (it is 2 – 4 m above sea level). The island is also being eroded by wave action and so without human intervention would soon be covered by rising sea levels. Dominica has argued that Aves island is thus really a sand bar and as such does not qualify under the Law of the Sea as a base line point from which Venezuela can delimit its EEZ. Venezuela has maintained a naval base there since the 1950’s, built on stilts and is considering measures to combat erosion and to physically build up the island. Curiously Venezuela (like the U.S.A) is NOT a signatory to the convention of the Law of the Sea.

    Baldwin Spencer (PM of Antigua) and Charles Savarin (Foreign Minister of Dominica) have made mention of Venezuela’s presumed intention of claiming a large slice of the Caribbean Sea based on their ownership of Aves Island along with the associated natural resources (fish and oil), which will be to the disadvantage of Caribbean Island States. However as Y correctly points out this concern has been blunted by the Petrocaribe Oil deal (which Barbados has rejected).

    I also agree that Chavez needs to be watched closely given Venezuela’s very long standing vision of itself as a Caribbean power and its territorial ambitions re. Guyana, the continental shelf areas adjacent to Trinidad and Aves Island.

    On a final note, if the English speaking Caribbean is to engage Venezuela on these matters will this be done on an territory by territory basis or as a single grouping? If the latter approach is to be taken, doesn’t this underline the importance of Caricom and ultimately the CSME project? OR given the military might of Venezuela is our cause futile except as appendages of U.S. interests?

  42. Solution?

    Since Aves Isl. is 70? miles W. of Dominica’s north point,
    it is also roughly that same distance from the S.point of Guadeloupe(a Dept. of FRANCE)
    – and maybe a bit more distance WNW of Martinique(a Dept. of France)
    so if anyone is to mek a Big Move to washout the puny Venezuelan military sta. on Aves Isl.,
    that entity would be NATO, via FRANCE.

    If UK can stretch itself all the way down to the Malvinas, to defend a UK hold on that rock,
    surely NATO could try a ting much closer to home.

    Shouldn’t take a week. All we need are “Joint exercises” in the region, between U.S.Navy and NATO Navy…and Bob’s yer uncle’s dog, no?

  43. Guyana gone!

    Guyana is Chavez’ EASIEST territorial reclamation act.
    Even before Chavez, Venezuela laid claim to the entire Western one-third of British Guiana/Guyana!

    Now that Guyana has a seriously-ketchass economy’
    and are likely to accept Chavez fantastic energy-on-credit “deal”,
    it’s only a matter of time until Chavez calls in the PetroCaribe loan, which Guyana can’t pay.

    Maybe some real estate will change hands,instead
    to satisfy the demand.

  44. Get In The Action

    You have to give jack his jacket. PM Arthur’s rejection of Petro Caribe despite the pressure from regional leaders, has to be admired as a bold move. I hope he keeps Chavez at arm’s length.

  45. J. Payne

    Chavez said he wants to launch a new fiberoptics cable between Cuba and Venezuela and also one from Venezuela to the other islands in the Eastern Caribbean.

    Venzuela’s dreams 1950’s-1960’s of invading and taking over the Caribbean region are coming true.

    New submarine cable will benefit Caribbean communications
    Published on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    HAVANA, Cuba (ACN): The first underwater cable of the Caribbean will be installed by a new joint venture between state run enterprises Telecom Venezuela and Transbit from Cuba.

    Ten times bigger than any cable in the region, this new device will allow cheaper and faster interconnection between Latin American countries.

    According to the President of Telecom Venezuela Julio Duran, the cable will stretch some 1,000 miles from La Guaira, north of Venezuela, to Siboney, a coastal town on the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, reported the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN).

    It will have two forks, one close to Cuba and the other near Venezuela, to allow the interconnection with other Caribbean and Latin American nations at prices cheaper than those charged by private enterprises, explained Duran.

    Services will include some 26,000 TV channels and Internet access, thus allowing broader cooperation and joint work in areas such as education, medicine, sports, and culture in the region.

    During the 12th International Convention on information technologies held in Havana on February, 2007, the Telecom president said that the cable would allow 20 million simultaneous calls.(end snip)

  46. really enjoyed reading this article, learned a few things, thanks.

  47. Bimbro

    What an amazing coincidence that just this afternoon I watched a programme on precisely, this subject in a BBC technology series dealing with the huge network of cables on the ocean’s floor to enable us to receive the internet, etc. I was even still thinking about the subject when I turned this on and thought I’d have a look at the latest postings and here J. Payne is telling us about the same subject! However, the BBC prog. did n’t mention the caribbean, specifically.

    I don’t know whether to be excited or to yawn. A lot of this modern stuff I feel is principally, for the youngsters. The internet, alone is enough for me and the prog. seemed to be saying that there’s a lot of spare network capacity out there already, so I was still surprised that Chavez is interested in laying even more. Anyhow, ‘I suppose he mus know wha he doing’ so I leave them to get on with it. However, I wonder about ‘the price’ which we may have to ‘pay’ for this new, ‘largess’!

  48. Bimbro

    Chavez won’t lef my poor mind! I gun go & watch telly, just now and forget about he! 🙂

    “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”!

    To be perfectly, honest I’ve never been too, sure of the precise meaning of this expression (I’m sure somebody will soon tell me) but this Chavez business may well be a case in point.

    I’m not too, sure what he’s after but I’m inclined to accept any gifts on offer. Let’s see; we’ve had petrol, the internet..what do you think he might offer next? Do they produce plenty of milk? I would request some to feed the poor school children of Bim to help them grow into big, strong people and for the poor and elderly. I remember when I was at school getting a free bottle of milk every day until ‘Thatcher, the milk snatcher’ came along and put an end to all that. These days, I believe they get orange juice (perhaps weak diluted) or water, or perhaps, nothing.

    What else could we do with in Bim? Guaranteed electricity? Constant water supply? Well, I can’t expect miracles, not even from Chavez!

  49. You guys really come across as quite paranoid. Under Chavez the profits from oil have largely gone towards social services that directly benefit the majority poor in Venezuala, something we don’t see in any other oil rich country, where profits instead flow into Western coffers or are wasted in luxuries for the local elite. Furthermore, every country upgrades its military capability on a regular basis, and many independent military experts agree Venezuala does need to replace its ageing and increasingly obsolete weaponary. Colombia, the local proxy of the US, has recieved huge military assistance from the US under the guise of fighting the drug war, why no complaints about Colombian aggression and expansionism in the region? This reminds me of how the US portrayed the Grenadian Port Salines International Airport as a Soviet Air Force Base in order to legitimise its beef with Bishop and the NJM; or how the Sandinista government decided to upgrade its weapons – largely based on the plans of the previous US backed dictatorship complete with military advice from the US – but when it approached the US for these weapons, found themselves blockaded and forced to buy arms from the Soviets, which the US then used as an example of the Sandinistas as Soviet proxies.
    Finally, you state that Chavez must have an enemy if he is buying these weapons. I suppose you forget the US backed coup that temporiarally overthrew Chavez until a popular rebellion swept him back to power, or ‘alleged’ (like in Iran) US aid and support to opposition forces and separatist forces within Venezuala’s territory? Sure, Chavez has nothing to worry about, why is he buying these weapons? As much as this money could go to benefit the revolution, the revolution must be protected or it will be rolled back by force (imperialist hegemonic consent already broken by fact of Chavez’s successive democratic mandate) and subterfuge.
    And if you are concerned about Venezuala due to its proximity to Barbados and the Caribbean as a whole, I’ll remind you that the US is a much closer and potent threat, has a much longer track record of imperialist shenanigins in the regions than Chavez (and imperialism is not simply military agression which the US has done many times there – Cuba, Haiti, Dominica, Grenada – but also economic imperialism). And the US for that has a military expenditure several times greater than the next five countries combined. And you waste time worrying about Chavez?

  50. Anonymous

    And the evil hegemonic imperialistic TV station needs to be silenced too.

    Naughty journalists. zzziiiiip!!

  51. In all countries broadcast frequencies are licensed out by the governments. They are rented out for a period of years, and the regulations stipulate general things like freedom of the press, along with no inciting violence and coups. In Venezuala the licenses are given for twenty years, one of the longest terms in the world. Radio Caracas TV (RCTV) the television station I am assuming you are referring to that lost its license recently, openly aided and abetted in the attempted 2002 coup against Chavez, for example showing false images of Chavez gunmen firing on unarmed protestors – in reality, as was proved by other video, the Chavez gunmen were firing at an armoured personnel carrier in an otherwise deserted street that was firing on Chavez supporters, and were miles away from the footage of injured unarmed protestors. The TV station also reported that Chavez had resigned (he had not); heralded the coup as a ‘victory for democracy’; interviewed the coup leaders as heroes; applauded the coup leaders closure of another TV station that attempted to report the truth about the coup; and as the popular rebellion swept Chavez back to power somehow failed to report this news, instead playing cartoons. So, lets see, a massive media institution openly calling and applauding a military coup, also called for violence against the popular rebellion and the like, do you think that might be contrary to the legislation on freedom of the press? Imagaine CBS doing the same in the USA – do you think the democratically elected government wouldn’t take much stronger action against such coup plotters? The suprising thing is that Chavez didn’t move against RCTV earlier than he did. Furthermore, RCTV is not banned, it only lost it use of public frequencies, and continues to broadcast via cable and satellite.

  52. Bimbro

    Thank you for those two contributions, John. I made the point about the required necessity of television and radio to be impartial in reporting a country’s political affairs and even the press – traditionally, to a lesser extent if there’s a multiplicity of newspapers. Points which did n’t appear to be accepted by, at least, ALL of our subscribers. So, not ALL of us are ‘paranoid’ and I’m glad to see that you agree with my view.

    You’re from Bermuda and have a much better understanding of the regional situ. in S.America and the caribben than I do. I seem to see so little news here on that region and I was unaware of the Columbia situation. I’m please also to hear that Chavez is doing a great deal for his people. I asked the same question, earlier and I’m not sure that I got a satisfactory reply, before.

    However, for too many nuclear subs. to be sailing the waters of one’s area must be a concern for anybody, unless they’re dim (silly). Obviously, the major powers will have their subs. but do we want to encourage their proliferation? I don’t think so!

  53. J. Payne

    ” Crusty June 15th, 2007 at 10:54 pm ”

    Don’t forget the companion “Manifest Destiny” [ ] which was used to substantiate everything from slavery to the right to run over any country that was of non white ethnicity.

    Specifically it was used to take Hawaii, and the islands of Guam/American Samoa (over near Australia) thus giving the USA domination over most of the Pacific Ocean area too.

    Ofcourse the USA got their first dose of reality when they tried to kick the British out of British North America during the War of 1812. The US ran up and burned down (what would be today’s) Canadian parliament. Without thinking of the stupidness of that. Canada simply left the US watching the borders east of the Great lakes and they came around from the west of the lakes and went straight for D.C. and burned down the former US white house…

    From that time-on the US was a bit more humble about how they threw around their weight.

  54. Anonymous

    Then the law would be brought into play and the station sued for damages, which would then be publicly announced, published. In many cases this would change a medium, or the damage to significant to contemplate.

    Your argument of Chavez, his royal high, removing the station does not hold up to scrutiny. It is an imortant indication of abuse of Venezuelan rights of free speech, leading to loss of human rights.


  55. Okay:

    Saw this thread in a side-bar.

    Some of us need to know that submarines are far more inherently destabilising than surface ships, as they are used to interdict commerce on the seas, whilst the surface vessels are used to protect such commerce. Further to this, in an era where subs can be used to launch cruise missiles, this makes them serious potential land attack weapons. Such vessels are also traditionally used to land raiders and saboteurs.

    The region’s security and stability just took a nosedive, in short. (At least, the Yanks can be battered in their own media and in the UN, and will in the end yield to the pressure of exposure of their shennanigans! But, too, more often than not, we must give Jack his jacket: the Americans have often bled bigtime in the cause of liberating or protecting others.)

    Multiply that by the growing links between Chavez and Iran on the one hand [complete with bases for Hezbollah, Iran’s Foreign Legion . . .], and with Cuba on the other, plus the coalition he is trying to build up in South America. Stir in the muzzling implications of the Petro Caribe deal, in light of historic claims of Venezuela to Caribbean territories — Guyana, Trinidad and Bird Island are three telling cases in point, given the further implications of the 200 mi EEZ. Note how similar zones led to clashes within Caricom recently. Sprinkle in the undemocratic moves Chavez has been consistently making in Venezuela. (I won’t bother myself on cheap shots at the RC church here . . . other than to note that they are cheap shots coming after an era in which Pope John Paul 2 spent a quarter of a century standing up for justice and liberation of the oppressed, and not without result. I add: I ain’t no Catholic either, but we must give Jack his Jacket!)

    Exponentiate this by the ongoing World War IV, since 1979, and remnants of WW III over in a Cuba that is coming to the end of the Castro era. Stir in a rumble or two in Nicaragua . . .

    Then, come back on just how naive so many of our region’s policy advisers, pundits and intelligentsia are.

    Or is that just me being “cynical” and “pessimistic” as usual . . . ? [Sort of like my alleged “fascination with images of [volcanic] destruction” over here in M’rat back in 95. Those who said that then, sure can’t say that the concern over addressing the full range of possibilities they dismissed as undue pessimism then, was unwarranted . . .]

    But then, I’s be a mere “neurotic obsessed with visions of disaster” . . .


    Folks, wake up: we finite, fallible often deluded mortals simply cannot reliably predict the future, so we need to consider seriously optimistic, moderate and pessimistic possible scenarios. Then we need to act on what is robust across the range of reasonably possible states of the world and other actors out there.

    That’s simple common sense.

    But who is it said “common sense ain’t common”?

    GEM of TKI

  56. J. Payne

    Re: Rumplestilskin
    June 16th, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Regarding the girl from Guyana. Ha. Guyana used to believe this nation wide. Guyana claimed they didn’t even want to be a part of the West Indies Federation because they believed that “Their future lie with the South American mainland.” and thus they opted out.

    This however changed once they realised they weren’t among friends. Venezuela claimed the western part and Suriname the eastern part and all they would be left with was a small spot– near the capital. THEN—- they came running back to this idea of CARICOM since it’s better to be where you were at least welcomed right?

  57. Blunt

    Guyana is ‘toast’, all how the chips fall.
    It cannot sustain itself, despite 83,000 sq. mi. of endless potential.

    Guyana and Haiti are this Hemisphere’s surest evidence that post-Colonial “independence” for lil Mickey Mouse “countries” does not work too well, if at all!

  58. J. Payne

    Hey Bimbro,

    Welcome back man…. I must say even though we may have some bassa-bassa and some quarrels over opinion from time to time… Blood is thicker than water… we is all bajan and iz- good to see you back. I genuinely hope you gon’ stick around… Afterall if we all start falling out with one another we never get the changes we need most of all in little Buhbaydus…

    I’m still trying to find out more information about the type of cable they’re talking about…. Because as far as I’ve read. Cable and Wireless already has undersea cables linking the islands…

    Cable and Wireless has the ECFS Eastern Caribbean Fibre System

    And from what they publish they seem to prefer their cables between the islands instead of the old earth-station in terms of costs. That-is I mean to say, they’ve lead the public to believe that the earth stations are only used in emergencies like when the cables get severed or damaged. Supposedly the landing for C&W’s cables in Barbados are off St. Michael. I can’t remember where.
    At one point I was going to put it in the Wikipedia article but I thought to myself….. The less any copy-cat terrorists can find online, the better… I not making any track to dead goat to run ‘pun.

    But equally interesting this CaribbeanNetNews also forgets about the fibreoptics cable in the region owned by TeleBarbados/a.k.a The Barbados Light and Power Company… ( )
    What’s up with that?

    Also it forgets Michael Lee-Chin the Jamaican-Canadian self made multi-billionaire’s fiber-optics network which runs around the Caribbean known as ARCOS…
    ( )
    Plus his network in the North Atlantic area of The Bahamas ( )

    There’s tons of fibre-optics cables already done. What I’m wondering is if Venezuela is planning to launch a coaxial- (Cable company type cable.) But the problem with coaxial cable (which is copper in the middle) it requires a regeneration station that will boost the signal again after it gets too low because of distance. That distance is less then something like 100 miles. It wouldn’t be suitable to string between Caribbean islands which I think on average are about 100 miles apart.

    But you have to look at the dynamics of this too you know? One end of the cable will be in Cuba. The other in Venezuela???? What the heck? That Internet signal going to the Eastern Caribbean will be censored and you’d probably have your phone calls tapped by either Venezuela or Cuba…. I wouldn’t want to use their network no matter how cheap it is.

  59. J. Payne

    Don’t forget Belize… A.k.a. British Honduras.

    Guatemala has been waiting for years for the perfect time to take over that country too. Belize was dumb— dumb dumb to switch having Britain mediate the situation instead to the USA. They should have stuck with Britain’s mediation because Britain was the one who signed the deal with Spain way back then…. They— would have the documents still too prove what Guatemala can and cannot claim inside Belize. But now Belize is asking the U.S. to settle it???

    Good luck to dem. Guatemala is long-time—– the United State’s protectorate. All those big US agriculture companies like Chiquita and all them have intrests in Guatemala (not Belize). Ofcourse the US ‘gon side with Guatemala and rule that the southern half of Belize should be given to Guatemala.

    Besides other obvious reasons Belize not likely to win with the US.
    1) Guatemala is the 2nd most densely populated country in Central America.
    2) Just next door is Belize, the least populated country in Central America. With areas that nobody owns.

    Guatemalans have been running to Belize’s empty areas and then pledging allegiance to Guatemala still. And Belize is powerless to force them out or stop them regarding the new land that they’re squatting on. A few times Belizean soldiers have even been kidnapped from the Belize side of the border and taken prisoner into Guatemala.

  60. Bimbro

    Hi Payne, thanks for the welcome. I had n’t realised that we’d ‘fallen-out’ ’cause I can’t be bothered with checking back to remind myself who is who. But thanks, anyway. I don’t expect any two people will ever agree entirely, on anything anyway, so it’s no big problem.

    John, you’re far too clever for me man. To me one cable is much like another although that’s obviously not the case. I doan know wha duh doing man but I know that whatever happens, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE THE INTERNET! LOL!

    I don’t know if you remember my earlier post but if Chavez does n’t behave himself, we Brits have one big-stick up hay named ‘Astute’ (see earlier post) plus others rolling-off the production line to just remind him who is who and what is what so that you small islanders can sleep peacefully, in your beds at night! Not to mention the big fist of our US friends.

    Give my love to Bim. Have n’t seen her in a long time!

  61. yatinkinkiteasy

    J Sterling, obviously a “Chavista”, perhaps employed by the Venezuelan Embassy in Barbados?….is simply repeating the Chavez propaganda about the US trying to destroy him…Chavez claims all the time that they are trying to kill him..Chavez calls the TV station “golpistas”, when it is he that failed in a bloody coup to overthrow an elected President in 1992.

    Not renewing the RCTV broadcast Licence is his first serious step to silence the opposition…he has also threated to do the same to Globovision, who also oppose him. You see, in Chavez`s mind, anyone who opposes him or thinks differently,must be silenced…he is is not interested in freedom of the press, freedom of expression…The University students in Venezuela have taken to the streets in their thousands, since the May 27th closing of the TV station, demanding freedom of expression. It is possible that Chavez has miscaluclated the effect this has had on the Majority of the population.There may be more unrest…and of course, Chavez will blame the gringoes for starting and supporting it!

    It is interesting that J speaks of the termination of the license to RCTV, but does not mention that Chavez TOOK OVER the plant and equipment of the station, without compensation.(RCTV is a privately owned station.)..the airwaves may be Chavezes, but the equipment has been stolen and is being used illegally to broadcast TVES, the now Government channel….which , incidentally has less than 10% viewership, compared to RCTV`s 40+% pefore the takeover.
    Chavez is another Fidel, except he has money, and lots of it.His ambitions and desire for power are perhaps even bigger than Fidel`s, which makes him more dangerous.
    And J, go to Caracas today, go up in the hills and shanties where more than 1 million live in dire poverty and squalor, and then say how much Chavez is doing for the poor after 8 years, with the higest income from petroleum in the history of Venezuela!

  62. I apologise for the delay in replying; despite yatinkinkiteasy beliefs, I am not a member of the Venezuelan Embassy in Barbados or Bermuda for that matter but a manual labourer with occassional/infrequent computer access. I’ll respond to the more pertinent points:

    Anoymous: The Venezuelan legisaltion that explicitly deals with broadcasting was enacted in 1987, long before Chavez was in power. That legislation clearly states that the decision regarding renweing the broadcasting concession lie wholly with the President. I personally think that needs to be changed to allow for an independent panel to review it, but that is neither here nor there; that Chavez was the first Venezuelan President to apply the legislation (simply in this case because the licenses in 1987 were given out for twenty years) does not make his actions authoritarian. If he had abrubptly created a new law and applied it to this case with the explicit purpose of silencing RCTV you might have a case, but that is not what occured. The decision on whether or not to renew the license for RCTV was based on comparing its performance with the guidelines of the relevant legisaltion, that, funnily enough, states that the media shall not use its broadcast abilities to incite violence or coups. Funny, most countries have similar legislation. Only not that many countries have an experience where there is an attempted coup, the media actively particpates in the coup, and then the coup fails. Wonder whether that had anything to do with deciding not to renew the concession?

    That the Venezuelan government chose not to act immediately against the media that were involved in the coup puzzled me for some time. I have since discovered that this action represents a profound patience and willingness by the Chavez government to accomadate dissent and reach an understanding with the broadacasters. RCTV was not the only media involved in the 2002 coup, however the other media have reached an understanding with Chavez were they can continue to criticise the Bolivarian Revo, but cannot incite violence or coups. RCTV did not reach such an agreement with the government. Its that simple. Yatinkinkiteasy suggested I visit Caracas. I suggest you do the same. There you will find that the media, be it print, radio or television, is dominated by the Opposition, is savagely critical of the Chavez government and is certainly not being silenced by the State, as some would have us believe.

    Kairosfocus: I share your concerns about Chavez’s fraternisation with Iran. While I will demonstrate (and have) against the possibility of US (or proxy) aggression towards Iran, I don’t do this because I support the Iranian Theocracy. Iran has brutally repressed progressive and organised labour movements, and I think that they should be condemned for that. I understand why Chavez has entered into discusssions with them, but these discussions should have been tempered with voiced concern for repression in that great nation. I will take issue with your estimation on Hezbollah however as I see them as a more legitimate resistance force in the face of Isreali oppression than you appear to. I do not support them uncritically, but I do not view them as an out and out terrorist or criminal organisation as you appear to be portraying them. If I am mistaken in my interpretation of your statement, I apologise.

    I will remind you that Chavez has been reelected by large popular votes several times, including a recall election forced by an Opposition petition. These elections have been found to be completely legitimate by overseas observors (and why do we not insist on overseas observors in the US or major Western states, but insist on them in the South; what hypocrisy, especially following Pres. Bush Jr; but I digress).

    You seem to be quite willing to accept teh allegations put forward by the filter of international media, yet I have seen that this site is often critical of the Bajan media, accusing it of servility to the ruling local elites, poltical and economic, of Barbados. Does it not stand to reason that if that can be the case in Barbados, might not the international media not be, to varying degrees, lackeys of certain geo-policitcal interests? If one were to listen to the international media as if it were gospel we really would have quite a warped view of reality; the sad thing is many of us indeed do just that.

    Blunt: You state ‘Guyana and Haiti are this Hemisphere’s surest evidence that post-Colonial “independence” for lil Mickey Mouse “countries” does not work too well, if at all!’

    I don’t know you. But that argument comes across as incredibly ignorant and even perhaps racist. Growing up I would hear people say at dinners (of whites), oh, look at Africa, or the Caribbean, what a mess they are, they were so much better under the Empire. You must be totally ignorant of the whole thing once known as the Cold War and how the major imperialist powers (the USA and the USSR) scrwed so many of the new countries as so many proxies in the great game of the Cold War. True, there were those fools who misunderstood Fanon and blindly toiled to develop racial or national consciousness, thinking that if only the economy or the state were in the hands of the native everything would be okay. As if a black master was any different from a white master. The skin colour was not the key, the key was the word ‘master.’ Race only helped to legitimise the system, but even under official slavery there were black masters, and they were often crueler (or at least as cruel) as the white masters. The last forty odd years should hopefully have discredited the old racialist or nationalist notions, those false consciousnesses, and helped strip away some of the wool that obscures the authoritarian system we exist within. The clearer we see, the better we can fight and build a better society; and how we fight will indeed determine the general features of this new society. It must be acheieved through total freedom of expression and democratic participation or we risk repeating the nightmares of the past.

    I strongly advise you, blunt, to go back and read the histories of Haiti and Guyana. Either these countries (and others) are peopled by people intrinsically unable to rule themselves without the aid of the ‘benevolent white man’ or there are other issues, such as neo-imperialism and such to figure into the picture.


    Yes, you are correct that Chavez led a failed coup in 1992. His actions then were wrong. So were the actions of 2002 in overthrowing a democratically elected President. Can we accept that? Can we also look at the fact that Chavez has been elected several times, with large majorities? Can we also look at the very compelling evidence of US interventions in Venezuela, especially in the events of the 2002 coup? Can we also look at the fact of US interventions in other states, say, the numerous assasination attempts against Castro?

    You mention Globovision as another TV station that Chavez’s government has threatened. On the day of RCTV going of public broadcasting Globovision showed images of the attempted assasination of the late Pope John Paul II, with an inset picture of Chavez, playing a song which has been translated from the Spanish for me as essentially saying ‘who will have the courage to do what needs to be done’ which, as a whole, seems to be an obvious incitiation to assasinate the democratically elected President of Venezuela. I wonder why the Chavez governmnet might want to move against Globovision, especially in light of this TV station flagrantly breaking the law?

    Concerning your assertion that I did not mention that the government has ‘appropriated’ some equipment of RCTVs, I can only say that I have not come across that information, and so cannot speak on it. I will research it and return to it once I can. I will assume however that the particular equipment was that which enabled RCTV to broadcast on the public broadcast frequencies, and perhaps that is the reason behind the appropriation (to prevent RCTV to illegaly broadcast). But I don’t know.

    Yatkinkiteasy, I have been to the slums there. I have been fortunate to visit other countries as well in that region and the Caribbean (not Barbados yet unfortunately), and I can say that Venezuela is not the only country that has slums, or resources with which to combat poverty and other such problems. I will agree that Venezuela could have done some things better and quicker. But I can also say that of the countries I have been to, including my own for that matter, the government of Chavez is doing the most to correct these numerous issues. The task is legion, and not something that is corrected overnight. But compared to other countries with massive resources (say Saudi Arabia and the poverty of Riyahd, or the USA with its relevations from Katrina) Chavez is doing alot for his people, especially the poor.

    And in your reference to Chavez and Castro, I could say the same thing about Batista and Bush perhaps? Bush has more power and money than Batista did, which makes him a much bigger threat than Batista ever was.

  63. yatinkinkiteasy

    Jonnystar, or should I say J Starling?..You have not said where you are from and where you live….but I still believe you are a Government Chavista in an Embassy somewhere.You write the propaganda too well to be a simple “manual Labourer” is too obvious.I will not debate you anymore on the Chavez issue…History will tell if he is a communist(sorry , socialist) Dictator or not!

  64. J. Payne

    So what do you think? will Guyana become part of the USA???

    Things that make you go hmmm.

  65. Anonymous


  66. Pride of Barbados

    J. Payne,
    Where in heaven’s name did you get that from??! Wow! Well, I tell you, if that were to happen, Barbados would be empty in no time at all. Guyanese gone back home, and Bajans flocking to Guyana. What a turn up for the books.

  67. Straight talk

    plz keep blogging on this site.
    While we may not agree with all your pro-Chavez sentiments it is healthy to hear an alternative to our supine stance.
    Personally, I think your president is moving inexorably towards dictatorship, but hey that is what is happening right here on Bim.
    Maybe that regime is what is needed for all of us subservient Caribs.
    No vision except Massa knows best.
    Whether white or black.

  68. Hi Yatkinkiteasy,
    I live in Bermuda. I am classed as an industrial worker, and only have occassional access to computers. I do have a BSc in Biology, but having a degree does not garuntee a white-collar job where one can sit in front of a computer. I learned a long time ago to be critical of what I read and seek as much info as I can in forming opinions.

    The socialism of the twentieth century was largely one of state or authoritatian socialism; the socialism of the twenty-first century must learn from the nightmare that state socialism was. I think Chavez is certainly moving in the right (or should I say ‘left’) direction.

    Straight Talk, I have been a lurker on this blog for some time now. Many of the issues are not something I can directly comment on not being Bajan or in Barbados, but the issues are similar to the situation in Bermuda occasionally, and it is useful to follow them. The judgement on the Bolivarian Revo is still out, but I am hopeful that it will avoid the errors of the past, but will not hesitate to criticise what I see to be authoritarianism there when I see it. Thankyou for the warm words.

  69. Bimbro

    Hi ‘J’, how ‘re you finding life in Bermuda. I hear it’s the strongest performing economy in the caribbean, so you must be happy!

    I’m happy dis marning because I heard last night that Chavez is going to support cheap petrol for our London public transport, buses and consequently, we’ll have lower bus fares, so I celebrating dis marning!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    ‘Keep right-on Chavez! Sorry, ‘left-on’, if u see what I mean!!!!!!! Lord!!!!!!! 🙂

  70. Davy de Verteuil of Trinidad and Tobago

    Why Chavez shouldn’t arm his country when there is a nuclear bully in the North that respects no one? We in the island are so small minded we think as if we aren’t fed-up of being pushed around. As a mater of fact Chavez have something to defend and he ain’t asking no one to come in and do it for him. We in the Caribbean ignored the people of the South for many years because we felt powerless to at least speak up while Europeans rape plunder and murder the South Americans for their endless natural resources and cheap labour. Let us stop this intransigence and work with our brothers in the south in empowering themselves, let us no longer be good slaves.

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