Venezuela buys Chinese jets for drug war

Venezuela on March 13 tested six training and light attack jets bought from China for defense and anti-drug flights in a deal that dodges an embargo banning sales of US weapons parts to the left-populist government of Hugo Chávez. Caracas ordered a total of 18 K-8 jets from China after a plan to buy similar jets from Brazil’s Embraer fell through, apparently because they include US electrical systems. Said Chávez during a televised display of the jets’ capabilities: “Thank you, China. The empire wanted to leave us unarmed. Socialist China, revolutionary China appeared and here are our K-8 planes.”

Venezuela also recently bought a network of 10 radars from China, and has spent about $4 billion on Russian weapons—including fighter jets to replace F-16 planes that are rusting away because of the US embargo, which started in 2006. “With God’s help, Venezuela is going to be a socialist power,” Chávez said, adding that remaining K-8s were due this year. “We need to be well equipped and trained…to protect our skies, our soil, our territory, which has one of the world’s biggest riches of water, oil, energy and gas.” (Reuters, March 13)

See our last posts on Venezuela and China in Latin America.

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  1. “Socialist China, revolutionary China”?
    Do Hugo Chávez and the rest of us live on the same planet? Or does he inhabit an alternative universe in which Deng Xiaoping’s revisionist coup never happened and China is still socialist? Seems to us China is busy seeking free trade agreements with South America, just like Uncle Sam, and its internal system looks like savage capitalism—albeit still under the totalitarian rule of a state-capitalist entity anachronistically known as the “Communist Party”…

    1. Reply to Bill Weinberg
      Quote: “Do Hugo Chávez and the rest of us live on the same planet?”
      Yes we do. ‘Tis just that Mr. ChavĂ©z has a deep understanding of what is going on and therefore has a more realistic perspective on things.
      Venezuala is under threat from the USA – Mr. ChavĂ©z just seeks to ensure Venezuala and Venezuelans have the ability to defend themselves as far as is possible.
      Nothing wrong with that. In fact, he takes the correct approach. His defence budget is being used for defence, unlike America’s defence budget which is being used to attack, occupy and control other countries which are no threat to America whatsoever.
      I hope that adequately answers your question.