- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hugo Chavez continues his beggaring of the Venezuelan people (“Russia increases weapons sales to Chavez,” Page 1, Tuesday). This tinhorn socialist plans to spend about $3 billion of his people’s money on Russian weapons to fight a nonexistent enemy.

Mr. Chavez wants to buy these weapons for the same reason someone buys a Ferrari: ego. Instead of spending exploding oil revenues on improving the plight of poverty-stricken people, he buys weapons from Russia, notorious for poor follow-on support of the weapons it sells.

The operational value of these weapons is not high on Russia’s list of priorities. It is more important to them to put a stick in America’s eye to make a point.

When the Venezuelan people finally throw Mr. Chavez out, the weapons will rust and rot. The Russians will have made their point and earned $3 billion. Many Venezuelans will remain mired in poverty. The caudillo and his white horse will be a bad memory.

The Venezuelan people will still be searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

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