CARACAS — Chafing at the reactivation in recent weeks of a U.S. naval fleet in Latin American waters, President Hugo Chávez has confirmed that Venezuela could engage in naval exercises with Russian ships in the Caribbean before the end of the year.
"Go ahead and squeal, Yanquis," Chávez said in a mocking tone on his Sunday television program, adding, "Russia's naval fleet is welcome here."
Chávez's words echoed news reports that four warships with as many as 1,000 sailors from Russia's Pacific Fleet could take part in a training exercise in November off Venezuela's coast. Salvatore Cammarata Bastidas, Venezuela's chief of naval intelligence, said the exercises were aimed at strengthening military ties. ...coninued @
New York Times