Chavez: I'd Welcome Russian Troops in Venezuela

Seeking military pact with Moscow to ward of North American 'invasion'
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 3:10 AM CDT
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gestures at a news conference outside Moscow.    (AP Photo/Alexander Nemenov, Pool)
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(Newser) – Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is on a two-day trip to Moscow seeking closer military and economic ties —and raising the possibility that Russian troops may be stationed in Venezuela. Chavez and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev have already agreed to extend an energy partnership and are negotiating an arms deal and military co-operation, reports the BBC.

"If Russia's armed forces want to be present in Venezuela, they will be given a warm welcome," Chavez told a news conference after the meeting. Venezuela will continue to pursue closer military ties with Russia "because the North American empire has plans to invade Venezuela, to disarm Venezuela," he said. (Read more Hugo Chavez stories.)