Chavez rattling his sabre, re: Falklands.

Not looking too good. The country’s economy isn’t great, he’s making unprecedented threats against Britain and stocking up on Russian military hardware.

Are we going to be seeing another south Atlantic showdown, or is he just full of hot air?

Hot Air!

1/ Britain would not make the mistake of ignoring the warning signs as it did last time.

2/ An invasion would now have to circumvent the possibility of immediate supply of arms and personnel via the newly built air base at Stanley. No Task Force would be necesssary- it would be possible to build up a sound defensive force to avoid a successful invasion.

3/ Any attack on British armed forces would necesitate a US response (probably overwhelming as they would glory in this as an excuse to legally destroy the Chavez regime).

4/ The threat of British non-nuclear retaliation from submarines would be a serious consideration- I don’t expect Venezuela has a missile defence system proof against cruise missiles.

Attacking a British response to a Falklands invasion would be a suicidal move for the Chavez regime.

I repeat, Hot Air.

It’s clearly a step in Chavez’ attempt to make himself the leader of South America and have the other nations step to his call by creating some sort of ‘uber’ identity.

It’s doomed to failure, of course. While he may be popular it would take one hell of a groundswell to get Brazil and Argentina, some real powers in the region, to turn on the west.

Best guess? This is a part of a popularity contest and not a real attempt at making territorial claims.

Plus, Pjen is right, at this point in his Presidency, GWB wouldn’t see any marginal cost to sending in troops to capture and imprison Chavez…if the right excuse presented itself. And attacking an ally would be a fine one.

It’s the Venezuelan equivalent of bread and circuses, mainly circuses.

Whoomping up the glory of withstanding the Imperialist Enemy (I guess Chavez is running out of American targets) is a tried and true way of concealing the gross inadequacies and injustices of his regime.

I don’t know if Hugo Chavez has a map in his office, but by my out-of-my-ass estimate, the Falkland Islands are about a 6,000 mile trip by boat from Venezuela.

Venezuela and Argentina are similar only in that they’re both Spanish-speaking countries. His blather about Argentina’s (ridiculous) claim to the Falklands has about as much meaning and importance as Australia weighing in on Canada’s dispute with Denmark over Hans Island.

Hot air.

The odds of him ever getting his unified South American army are astronomically unlikely.

As for his threats to destroy British vessels in the south pacific…well that would be rather foolhardy. I’d welcome insight from people with more knowledge on the topic, but as far as I know their offensive power is

  1. Airforce: the f-16’s Venezuala already had are largely becoming unservicable, as the US will not sell spare parts, which leaves him with . They’ve got 10 SU-30, with another 16 due next year, with a range of 3000km…that’s not really a crushing force to attack a fleet with.
  2. Navy: 6 frigates from the 80’s, two submarines from the 70’s. I think even the Royal Navy outguns that.

And that’s before considering just which country might be quite happy to be our allies on this one. Let’s see…any superpowers kicking about who’d be quite happy to piss on Chavez’ chips?

I’d happily welcome more knowledgable commentary on this, but from what I can see it’s just playground bluster.

:confused: So is the history of every South American state.

And with a Latino name himself, his ancestors weren’t exactly innocent.

But I vote for hot air. And if it isn’t hot air, well, Britain can easily give him a very fiery funeral.

I wonder who this audience is aimed at, certainly not us.

Quite simply, he isn’t any sort of credible threat, and even Argentina has no real reason to think about making a further attempt as the economic losses in trade would not be worth it.

It seems to me its just some sort of blown out of proportion scaremongering to make Chavez appear to be a bogeyman to US citizens, the UK does not take him as any kind of problem, he is so far off our radar few UK citizens could even place his name.

Looks to me like the article is actually anti-Chavez propaganda, by the same crew who brought you the serious WMD threat in Iraq.

It never got mentioned on our TV news, and even though the Times is supposed to be respectable, no one here is concerned.

From what I can see, much of his outburst is far less than that, and instead its in response to Tony Blair.

He seems to be pointing out that British policy is somewhat hypocritical as Blair suggested that Venezuela and other countries should follow international law, and yet we somehow found justification to make an attack on Iraq that was transparently false from the first day that it was suggested.

He then mentions that the days of British colonialism are over, and he is right too, but yet we have embarked on this fool war in Iraq mainly at the behest of the US.

His view of British military behaviour, partly as Washingtons poodle is hardly controversial, it may not be an opinion we like, but he is perfectly entitled to hold it.

There is mention that he feels the US is trying to undermine and/or overthrow him, and since we are very close allies he extends this to us as part of an ‘axis of democracy.’ I think in this latter view he has every reason to feel this way as coverage of him in the US media is very heavily against him.

Read the following, and take it from another point of view, that of the leader of a small nation that the US has the knives out, which is perfectly true.

There may well be many and varied good reasons why the US would like to see Chavez deposed, I am not going to comment, but to be honest it looks almost like a makeover to dress him up as some regional monster, I hope it will not lead to more US interferance in South America, but I’m pretty sure it will - expect to see rebels and US trained insurgents anytime soon, along with the death squads, its the ‘modus operandi’ for the US in this part of the world.

Weelllll . . . Almost everyone in LA has a Latino name, including pureblood Indios. Nevertheless, for Venezuela’s president to revile the UK for crimes against the Indians makes no more sense than if the president of the U.S. were to do the same.

Well, if it was aimed at U.S. citizens, someone miscalculated badly, as hardly anyone here reads the Sunday Times.

Aha, so it was a British media plot that trumped up the Iraq war.

Wonder how Michael Moore missed that one.

You mean that you never heard of the so called 45 minute claim.

An entirely fictitious British claim that this was the level of threat posed to us by Hussain.

It still looks like anti Chavez propaganda, the UK media are plenty able to create dodgy stories.

For all I know, Chavez might be evil incarnate, but I look at who is delivering the message and who that message is aimed at.

The case has not yet been proven to me, when come back bring proper evidence.

I still don’t know where you’re getting the idea that a “propaganda” piece in a British newspaper is aimed at the American public.

I would also bet that the number of Americans concerned over a threat to the Falklands is infinitesimally low.

If you’re worried about a resurgence of jingoism over the Falklands, look to the country that went to war over it the last time (hint - it wasn’t the U.S.).

So, no evidence then ?

Wasn’t much the same said about Hitler?

And Godwin arrives! Well done!

Hitler was at the helm of a major industrial power which actually had the capability to conquer most of its neighbours. He also, by the way, was the leader and representative of an ideology that rejected the very notion of morality and ethics and promoted continuous, unending murder and warfare as the normal state of affairs for the German race.

Chavez is a run of the mill wannabe tyrant who doesn’t have one twentieth the relative power Hitler did and isn’t one thousandth as evil.

I believe that Hitler had violated the terms of the Versailles treaty several times, and each time this was allowed to slip by.

The same does not aply to either Argentina or to Venzuela and Chavez.

I’m quite prepared to believe that Chavez is a dangerous monster, when some evidence is presented.

I’m qyite prepared to believe that Chavez is a threat to the Falklands, when some evidence is presented, but currently it seems that the only ones who have their panties in a bunch about Chavez is the US.
The US had its panties in a bunch about Saddam Hussain and his WMD, turns out the US, and the UK too lied, whilst other countries refused to join in this military adventure, they being not convinced by the fabrications.

Show me some hard evidence that Chavez is a real threat, some evidence that is independant of the US witch hunting administration.

Plenty of leader say things that are controversial, remeber the Italian PM going on about Nazis a couple of years back, it doesn’t mean that the new Hitler has been reborn.
Instead of rhetoric, show me something about a credible military build up, show me reason why Chavez might gain from this military adventure, and show me a US that is truly only concerned for the welfare of Venezuelan, Argentine or Falkland Islanders, instead of its own power games that it has operated in South America for the last 50 years.

Do that, and I’ll be convinced Chavez is a villain, it should be easy to do, after all the US press and administration have got plenty of facts, haven’t they?

You are confusing me with someone who’s actually worked up over this. See post #4.

OK then, so what about the gross inadequacies and injustices of his regime ?

Does he kidnap and imprison and torture foreign nationals and deny it all like the fictitious Guantanamo torture or the ficticious ‘rendition’ ? For all I know he does, proof please.

Is his regime any more inadequate or unjust than any other that preceded his, or is pretty much par for the area - or is he substantially worse than his predecessors or neighbours ?

Given some of the competition he has in South American nations, including US supported ones, he has some low standards to keep down to - is he any worse than them?

All I ever seem to see is lots of hyperbole about how bad, evil and terrible Chavez is, but with precious few facts.

It may be that he is not the worst, or the best, but somehow he has gained the support of his populace, why did that happen, could it be that others before him hoarded the nations wealth for a small elite and he made promises (which doubtless he didn’t keep - in common with most politicians)

You made an assertion that his regime is grossly inadequate and unjust, ok then, you have your audience, its time to put it up there.

I agree. As I read the article my mind kept repeating “yellow cake, yellow cake” .