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Buying 100,000 AK 47s was not Chavez Frias’ biggest mistake. The mistake was not buying enough!


VHeadline commentarist Carlos Herrera writes: After an alleged incursion into Colombian territory by Venezuelan National Guardsmen (GN) looking for contraband fuel and supposedly mistreating Colombian civilians last week, there has been no media “noise” from Colombia … or provocative statements ever since Alvaro Uribe came to Caracas to officially declare the Rodrigo Granda affair over, and back to playing “happy families” with his Bolivarian brother Hugo.

By way of contrast, the US has started making even more media “noise” directly, instead of via its Colombian glove=puppets in the Narino Palace … from high ranking officials such as Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense.

He used his visit to Brazil to declare that he was “concerned” about the purchase of 100,000 AK assault rifles by the Venezuelan government from Russia … Rumsfeld said that he did not see how this purchase would be conducive to peace in the hemisphere.

Rumsfeld is right…

This will not be directly conducive to peace in the region … but will be at least a partial deterrent if the US decided to activate Plan Colombia … or send Special Forces to pay us a visit in the port city of La Guaira, for example.

What should we do in this ongoing provocation situation from the US — roll over and die, or disarm, or prostitute our principles and let the bully tread all over us?

Without even mentioning the US$450 billion US defense budget for 2005, which is a grave concern for all 6.3 billion human beings on the planet Earth … especially if you live in an oil producing country or have vast reserves of biodiversity and water such as Amazonia.

It was obviously a mistake for Chavez to have taken the decision to buy 100,000 AK 47s, and upset the world‚s superpower … this mistake must be corrected immediately by our President.

He must buy at least 300,000 AK 47 assault rifles from Russia to bolster up national popular defense plans for Venezuela.

The mistake is that he has not bought enough!

Add these 300,000 AK-47s to the 100,000 rifles due to be replaced … then we have at least 400,000 arms with which to defend ourselves. Consider 3 people per rifle in case someone gets killed in combat and we have 1.2 million defenders of the “Patria.”

We could wage an asymmetrical war against invaders from outer space, if necessary.

The US might manage to occupy Venezuela, but they would never win.

Taking Oscar Heck‚s estimation of 5.2 million fire arms in Venezuela, this is even better, since we could have 15 million people ready to defend their country and revolution.

That is a real deterrent .. and we are not threatening anyone.

Oh … I forgot … the White House says Chavez will send the arms to the FARC and ELN, and thus destabilize the region.

This is pure paranoid supposition and media speculation … what is not supposition and media speculation is that the US is gradually arming Colombia to the teeth to combat “drug trafficking and the guerilla movements.” Colombia is now the second largest recipient country of US military aid after Israel … and look at the slaughter in the Middle East with so many weapons.

Even now, in the Colombia countryside, peasant farmers are displaced to the cities — around 200,000 thousand per month according to my Colombian sources.

The arming of Colombia and the use of “military contractors” (a.k.a. mercenaries) on Colombian soil .. which is similar to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan … is the real destabilizing factor for the whole of Latin America.

In my recent article “Military trains students to use rifles; study guerilla tactics in the case of an external threat to Venezuelan national sovereignty” the nub is to mobilize the population against all external threats, and train them to use arms to defend themselves, their country, their families, their values, their oil, their gas and national sovereignty and history.

In his excellent analysis published on March 23, James Petras writes: “The US “external” strategy toward Venezuela and its “two step” approach toward Cuba face powerful limitations.

First of all the Colombian regime faces a powerful internal opposition: 20,000 veteran guerrilla fighters and millions of Colombians sympathetic to the agrarian reform program, independent foreign policy and political freedoms of the Chavez regime. It is very dangerous for Uribe to start a “two-front war” which might open the way to attacks on the principle cities including Bogota.

The US is heavily tied down militarily in Iraq and puts a higher priority on war against Iran/Syria than Venezuela. The US intervention would be limited to air and sea attacks and Special Forces.

Any war would mobilize millions of Venezuelans in a war of national liberation, defending their own land – homes, neighborhoods, families and friends. Moreover popular liberation wars radicalize the population and frequently lead to the confiscation of counter-revolutionary property.

A failed invasion could push Venezuela toward greater socialization of the economy and eliminate the domestic elite.

Moreover, US economy and multi-nationals stand to lose a reliable supply of petroleum in a tight market and billions of dollars in investments – weakening the US position in the global energy market.”

This point by point analysis by Petras is probably right, but for it to be proven as such, then we have to wait for it to be converted into reality.

The US has an awful lot to lose…

Back to practical matters now … instead of pussy-footing around with just 100,000 AK47s, the Venezuelan government should buy two or three times more and rectify the mistake of the limited number in the original purchase.

It is much easier to radicalize the population if they are well-armed against foreign invaders.

We need to be ready, well-armed, trained and motivated

Carlos Herrera More commentaries by Carlos Herrera

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