Stick to running drugs Hugo

Hugo Chavez should stick to running drugs, otherwise he will get a hiding:

Venezuela’s left-wing president has raised the stakes over the Falklands Islands by pledging his armed forces would fight alongside Argentina in any conflict with Britain.

The inflammatory promise from Hugo Chavez came in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the April 1982 invasion of the islands by Argentina.

At the same time Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted the deployment of a British warship and Prince William to the Falklands was ‘entirely routine’.

Mr Chavez was speaking at a meeting of the left-leaning ALBA bloc, an alliance of eight South American and Caribbean countries, which backed Argentina in its long-running dispute with Britain over the islands.

Argentina calls the islands Las Malvinas and claims they were ‘stolen’ by Britain 180 years ago.

‘The issue of the Malvinas Islands is an issue that concerns us, especially with the strong language that has emerged from the British government, accusing Argentina of being colonialist,’ Mr Chavez said at the meeting in Caracas. ‘I’m speaking only for Venezuela, but if it occurs to the British empire to attack Argentina, Argentina won’t be alone this time.’

I hardly think the Venezuelan Navy or Air Force will cause the British Armed Forces more than a moment of concern just before they blow then out of the water and sky. For a start they have no ability to sealift or airlift troops to the Falklands, and even if they did it would be unlikely they would even get there facing up to HMS Dauntless let alone the Trafalgar Class sub currently lurking in the Southern Atlantic.

Hugo Chavez should stick to drug running lest he destroys his country’s ability to defend itself playing silly beggars with the Argentinians in a game of high stakes against a country that has demonstrated a willingness to smack up upstart countries trying to take its land.


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  • Gazzaw

    When did Venezuela last win a war? The British Paras must be shaking in their boots!

    • Richees

      They are good at winning Miss World competitions!

  • Blair Mulholland

    Yes and he seems to have forgotten the small matter of Trinidad a short distance off his coast, from which the Limeys could make all sorts of trouble for him.

  • Than

    Not quite sure why you’re being so disparaging. The SU-30 is a highly capable modern fighter, a big step up on anything Argentina has. Two squadrons of these would present a significant threat to any British taskforce.

    • Gazzaw

      Great aircraft. Venezuelan pilots.

    • They have to get off the ground first.

    • With a range at altitude of only 3000km…making it only 1500km combat radius, they won’t be affecting any taskforce in the Falklands which are 6500km from Venezuela.

    • ConwayCaptain

      And how is the Brave Hugo going to get his fighters from Venezuela to Argentina???  Does he have refurelling capabilities.

      In addition how well trained are the Venezuelan Pilots????

    • Than

      The distance from Venezuela to Argentina is ~4500 km. With drop tanks and an otherwise clean configuration an SU-30 can manage that. Operating from airbases in Argentina the Falklands are less than 500 km off the coast, so 1500 km combat radius is plenty.

      I’m not saying the British couldn’t handle them. But they *would* be a significant threat that would have to be respected and dealt with.

  • ConwayCaptain

    A Trafalgar Class down there with Tomahawk missiles.  Battalions of Brit troops with more battle experience than the whole of the S American Armies.  Typhoon fighters with the best trained pilots in the world and a Navy that has fought more battles/wars thatn the whole of the S American Navies combined.

    I suggest that Cameron keeps the Ghurkas and stations them down there permanently/  When photos of the Ghurkas sharpening their Khukris were published in the Chilean Press the news got back to the Argies very quickly and when they knew that the nastty little yellow bastards were in front of their positions they gave up v quickly.

    Ayor Ghorkhali!!!!  The Ghurkas are upon you.

    • Anonymous

      One question ConwayCaptain, just where will the Tornadoes be flying from? They don’t have any carriers, unless the HMS Ark Royal is ready to come back into service at a moments notice

      • Phronesis

        Piarco, Trinidad or Texas if things get hot.

      • Anonymous

        Thats still a long sortie Phronesis, and you can rule out Texas, Clinton has already said the US won’t support Britain re the Falklands.

        edit: long as is distance from the islands, not the mainland.

      • ChrisH

        You seem to have picked up a few things from the last discussion on the Falklands… but still missed a few important things….

        Ark Royal was only capabale of supporting VSTOL aircraft, so it flew Harrier GR9’s (now all sold to the US Marines), but in a previous shortsighted move the MOD had also pensioned off the Sea Harrier FRS2 – which had been rated as Europes most capable fighter… So while a well flown RAF Harrier GR9 would still have given an averagely flown SU30, or Argentinian fighter a hard time, its not the ideal tool for the job…

        Tornado’s and Typhoons are not carrier capable in any sense!

        Luckily however the British did invest substantial funds into Mt Pleasance air base on the Falklands, which preiously had a detachment of Tornado F3’s (the intercepter version of theTornado, not the bomber version), these have now been replaced with 4 of the latest Typhoon’s, which are a very capable modern fighter. (Alhough having said that, the Indian Airforce’s SU30’s gave them some problems in recent excercises – but there is a good chance that Indian pilots are substantially better than Venezualan ones)!

        Biggest problem is – 4 Typhoons, 6000 miles from home, don’t leave a lot of room for manoevere if “swamped” by a concerted effort – and put the runway out of action and its game over…

        Dumb move paying off the carriers and leaving the Argies an 8 year window of opportunity before the RN comes anything like close to fielding a suitable deterent…

        Best option is the threat of an SSN Tomahawk strike on downtown Buenos Aries – they have no defence against that.

        Oh, and last point – Chavez might want to take into account that Chile could well take sides with the Brit’s, not being big fans of the Argies – and having probably the best Navy/Air Force on the South American continent – half of their navy being ex RN units paid off too soon to “save costs”….

      • ConwayCaptain

        I didnt mention Tornadoes and anyway they cant fly off carriers.  I mentioned Typhoons and I bet you the Brits have increased the number down there.

      • Anonymous

        My mistake ConwayCaptain, I meant Typhoons.

      • Anonymous

        Actually now that you mention it Chris, is does look like they’ve poured alot of funds into Mt Pleasant, looks like alot of permanant infrastructure has gone in, with plenty of aircraft bunkers for at least 20 or so aircraft from what I can see on google earth.

        Guess that makes my initial post redundant now.

    • Gazzaw

      Totally agree re the Gurkhas Cap. My uncle served in Burma with the Chindits and fought alongside the Gurkhas at the battle of Kohima. The Japs were scared shitless of them. Don’t know if have ever seen a kukri. It is a vicious knife that custom demands draws blood if ever drawn out of its sheath. There are also two skinning knives attached to the sheath that were just great for slicing off Jap ears as proof that the deed had been done.  

      As people theyare wonderful characters. It isn’t widely known but cruiselines are very keen to employ ex-Gurkhas as security staff at the end of their term with the British Army.Great pirate deterrents!  

    • Guest

      The Kilo class subs that Venezuela have will mean the Brits will be cautious, as will the SU-30 aircraft be giving them food for thought However, Gazzaw is right about Venezuelan pilots and we can assume that Venezuelan Armada crews will be less competent than the British. 

      RAF pilots will be battle hardened, dedicated and very experienced. they can also project power, as shown in the recent Libyan conflict where they flew 4800km round trips.

      However, I imagine that RN navy subs will simply strike ARG and/or VZN bases, catching their forces unaware on the ground. They will have 6 Trafalgar and 2 Astute class subs ready this year, assume four of the 8 are deployed in the South Atlantic, meaning if they go on the offensive, there are probably 80 Tomahawk missiles, potentially 100-110 depending on load out that are ready to fly. That would knock out significant Argies offensive capability on the ground, if they timed it right.

  • got a link to the/any proof chavez is running dope…?

    [email protected]

    • Dion

      A 30 second Google search has produced the following: &

      The two taken together aren’t a good look.

    • James Gray – From the bush basher’s club itself.

      Not that I object to reasonable criticism of a conservative politician, or the trade in psychoactive substances, but there you go.

      • Anonymous

        Wonder why phool couldn’t google that himself

    • Anonymous

      He’s a South American dictator. Of course he’s running dope.

      And it’s about time someone handed this borderline commie his ass. Where’s Oliver North when you need him?

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Is there a shortage Phool?

  •  i went to those three links…

    ..did you read them..?

    ..they prove absolutely nothing…

    ..(except that chavez has cracked down on corruption..

    ..and that venezuala is now the second least corrupt country in sth america..

    ..and that all the cocaine is coming from the american client state..colombia…

    (this is all fro them links you provided..)

    ..i ask again..

    is there any proof to that allegation chavez is involved in narco-traffinking…?

    …(and of course..let’s not forget..america/britain have military control of the country where 90% of heroin is made..

    ..and surprise..!..surprise..!…europe/america are flooded with cheap heroin..)

    ..just who are the drug-traffickers here..?

    [email protected]

    • Anonymous

      2nd least corrupt country in SA? That’s like getting the second shortest prison sentence in a conspiracy. You fail to see that the least corrupt South American country is the capitalist Chile, and they are a long, long, long, way ahead of Venezuela.

  • Logistics will matter the most. 

    The islands are very far away for everyone. To deploy ships down there require bases and a long deployment schedule for both Britian and Venezuela. 

    The question is how quickly could the Islands be re-inforced should tensions increase. You can fly troops in by plane but all the other stuff for war will travel by boat. 

  • niggly

    In an ironical way I wonder whether Chavez’s firestone rhetoric is giving the Agentine President (
    Kirchner) the shits in terms of stoking the fires further (after all Argentina cannot seriously challenge the UK militarily)?

    Must be more Chevez bluster ;-)

  • MrV

    Do we need another pointless war over some sub-antarctic rocks?

    • ChrisH

      Actually, in 1982 all it had was some sheep…. now it looks like the Falklands are smack bang in the middle of some huge oil reserves…

      Nothing fuels the will for a fight more than an oil strike!

      Which makes you think the UK would be a bit more serious about defending the place??

      • Gazzaw

        A massive oil resource would be the answer to Argentina’s economic nightmares but the Falklands remain tantalisingly out of reach & will remain so for the foreseeable future. The sabers are rattling for just the same reason as in ’81 to take the focus off their domestic problems.

  • Michael

    Not surprised given Chavez’s support of FARC. I suspect Colombia might start “exercises” at the borders if Venezuela sent it’s armed forces south.

    I thought Chavez was on his last legs – cancer was killing him but the Cubans keep him going. (The Venezuelan health system doesn’t.) 

  • Gavinc60

    Is there a Train Spotters thread here too?

  • Paul G. Buchanan

    As someone who was raised in Argentina and then did US security things related to Latin America prior to arriving in NZ, I can say with some certainty that Argentina has no intention of waging war over the Malvinas and that Niggly is right: Fernandez de Kichner needed Chavez’s bluster like a hole in her head. Not only are an overwhelming majority of Argentines opposed to any attempt to take the islands by force, but the Argentine military is substantially smaller today than it was in 1982 and spends most of its time on peace-keeping operations (the military command has said nothing to support the view that it wants war). More fundamentally, the FF.AA. do not have the capability to mount an effective expedition, and Venezuela would have to commit a major part of its military assets–whose professionalism and competence is very open to question–at a time when Chavez’s position is made precarious by his terminal illness and mounting domestic opposition to his kleptocratic rule (the idea that Venezuela is the second least corrupt country in Latin America is laughable). The entire affair has much to do with diplomatic posturing as the 30th anniversary date approaches, and nothing to do with really preparing for war.

    Moreover, contrary to what has been asserted here, the most battle hardened fighting force in Latin America is the Colombian military, who have successfully fought a 35 year insurgency, narco-trafficers, and cross-border incursions by Ecuadorean and Venezuelan troops, all with US military aid (including special forces advisors). The Chileans are good but not as experienced. 

    Colombia would like nothing better than to have the Venezuela get mixed up (and pummeled) in an overseas adventure that has nothing to do with its core national interests and all to do with Chavez’s bombast because Chavez continues to covertly aid and abet (including offering safe havens to) the remaining FARC guerrillas. Colombia opening a second front with US support to deal to those safe havens (as well as pursue other objectives) at a time when many of Venezuela’s best military assets are committed to a defeat in the South Atlantic would over-stretch the Venezuelan military, who in any event are now led by Chavista supporters who have been promoted above their station for political reasons rather than as a result of professional merit. Chavez’s generals are to real military leaders what the various Venezuelan Miss Universes’ are to Maggie Thatcher: they may look good all tricked out in their finery, but there is no substance behind the look. Without experienced command leadership the Venezuelans are headed to a hiding in the event they were to actually get involved in bellicosities.

    As for the drug dealing claims: here Phil U is right. Venezuela is a transit point  for chemicals into and product out of Colombia (Chavez and his pals take a cut) but is not the source of cocaine. That remains a Colombian, Peruvian and Bolivian problem that, beside the issue of endemic corruption, is not resolvable via purely military means.The only cause for alarm is the presence of Cuban military and intel personnel and Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Venezuela, who can instigate irregular campaigns in retaliation for any conventional defeat. But even then that would provoke a significant reaction from the US and a number of Latin American states, so the Russians (another Venezuela ally), Iranians (military and trading partner) and Chinese (trading partner) would have to weigh in on Chavez’s side. I am not sure about the Russians and am pretty sure that the Iranians will bark but do nothing overt. I do have some knowledge of Chinese-Venezuelan ties and believe that the former would not go near any Chavez military adventurism with a barge pole.All of which is to say that talk is cheap, and with Chavez talk lives a life of its own divorced from the realities at hand.