Hugo Chavez, the dictator of Venezuela traveled to Moscow where he granted drilling rights to Russian oil companies in exchange for what looks to be an arsenal of weapons. He claims he needs these weapons to safeguard the soverignity of Venezuela from encroachment by the United States.
Chavez thanked Putin for his hospitality, calling him “brother” at one point.
He said he spoke with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, during the cultural center’s opening, about “the leading trends in history, about the need to return geopolitical ideas” _ echoing earlier remarks in which he said Russians should revive the ideas of Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin.
Chavez has expressed interest in purchasing Russian submarines, which could add to U.S. concerns about Venezuela’s military spending. Caracas already has purchased some $3 billion worth of arms from Russia, including 53 military helicopters and 24 SU-30 Sukhoi fighter jets.