COPENHAGEN – Hugo Chavez accused the Netherlands on Thursday of allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare a possible military attack against his country.
The Venezuelan leader said the U.S. military, to prepare for a possible offensive, has sent intelligence agents, war ships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.
"They are three islands in Venezuela's territorial waters, but they are still under an imperial regime: the Netherlands," Chavez said during a speech at a climate change conference in Denmark. "Europe should know that the North American empire is filling these islands with weapons, assassins, American intelligence units, and spy planes and war ships."
In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly denied that U.S. military personnel in the Caribbean are planning to attack Venezuela.
"These allegations are baseless. These are routine exercises. We seek cooperation with the region," Kelly said.
Chavez did not offer evidence supporting his accusations, but he blamed the Netherlands and said the European Union should take a stance.
"I would like to know that the European Union has to say about this," Chavez said. "The Netherlands is responsible for this."
Chavez claims it's part of a broader plan by Washington to undermine leftist governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba.
"It's a threat to all the people of Latin America and the Caribbean," he said in a speech on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Denmark.
The socialist leader has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama's administration of conspiring with neighboring Colombia to topple his government.
Chavez's latest remarks were his strongest yet directed at the Netherlands. Three years ago he also bickered with the Dutch government, calling its defense minister a "pawn of Washington" who was part of an orchestrated campaign to vilify him as a "tyrant making plans for invasions of neighboring countries."
Venezuela and Colombia have been feuding for months over an agreement between Bogota and Washington allowing the U.S. military to increase its presence at Colombian bases through a 10-year lease agreement. American troops also are stationed at airports in Aruba and Curacao.
"Venezuela is being surrounded by military bases," Chavez said.
Colombian and U.S. officials have dismissed Chavez's concerns that Colombian bases could be used as launching pads to try to unseat him, saying their sole objective to fight drug trafficking and leftist guerrillas within Colombia.
Chavez also took aim at Obama during Thursday's speech, saying the U.S. president did not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize because he is continuing warlike policies.
"Obama should give back the prize," Chavez said, suggesting that his close ally — Bolivian President Evo Morales — would have been a better choice.
Associated Press Writers Christopher Toothaker, in Caracas, Venezuela, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
I don't know if any of you remember a Woody Allen film called "Bananas", but just in case you do, I'll tell you right now, I'm not wearing my underwear on the outside for anyone... not even crazy Hugo.
Chavez is an idiot.
I hate to say it, but it wouldnt totally surprise me if he did invade the island(s). He's that crazy.
We should send the CIA in to kidnap him, then throw him out of an airplane over Iran. The two of them can live happily ever after.
Well, I just did some painting to the shack. Hope he doesn't mess up my work.
Sadly, I think El Jefe is a little lonely. Seriously. He needs a friend, a nice pal to have a few drinks with, maybe a girlfriend to be nice to, someone like that. He could go to the baseball games, mug for the camera, or hang out at the local workers paradise bar and grill downing a few cervezas. He's all work and no play and that's making him a little cranky. So, señor, por favor, kick back once in a while. You've hounded enough people for a lifetime.
Just my 2 pesos or bolivars or whatever passes for money there.
Under a hut, walking Eagle Beach, lunch on the beach, Amstel Bright Beer on the beach, coffee in the morning on the beach, taking a dip in the sea,
Most of the islands down that way want us around.
>>>> "In 1979, an attempt was made to set up a socialist/communist state in Grenada. Four years later, at the request of the Governor General, the United States, Jamaica, and the Eastern Caribbean States intervened militarily. Launching their now famous "rescue mission," the allied forces restored order, and in December of 1984 a general election re-established democratic government."
----- Was off a cruise ship a few years ago to Grenada. Took a tour in a Van and the lady driving thanked us for coming to their rescue. She said during the rescue she hid under her bed. Also said the Cubans lined uped some of their officals before the rescue and shot them.
Last edited by TomFrederick; 12-21-2009 at 11:56 AM.
Has anyone currently in Aruba heard anything about this?
"Chavez says Venezuela jets intercepted U.S. plane Fri Jan 8, 10:25 pm ET CARACAS (Reuters) – President Hugo Chavez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept a U.S. military plane that twice entered Venezuelan skies on Friday, but Washington said none of its planes flew over the South American country's airspace. Brandishing a photo of the plane, which he described as a P-3, Chavez said the overflight was the latest violation of Venezuelan airspace by the U.S. military from its bases on the Netherlands' Caribbean islands and from neighboring Colombia. "They are provoking us ... these are warplanes," he said. Chavez said the F-16s escorted the U.S. plane away after two incursions lasting 15 and 19 minutes each. A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department denied Chavez's assertion, saying in an e-mail: "We can confirm no U.S. military aircraft entered Venezuelan airspace today. As a matter of policy we do not fly over a nation's airspace without prior consent or coordination." Senior Obama administration officials said the U.S. Southern Command was unaware of any incident involving U.S. government aircraft in Venezuelan airspace on Friday. The perceived threat of U.S. intervention has become a central element of Chavez's political discourse and a rallying cry for his supporters. Foes say Latin America's loudest U.S. critic is hyping the idea of a foreign threat to distract Venezuelans from domestic problems such as economic recession, rampant crime and inadequate public services. The socialist leader surprised the diplomatic world in December when he accused the Netherlands of abetting potential offensive action against his government by granting U.S. troops access to its islands close to Venezuela. The Dutch government says the U.S. presence on Curacao and Aruba -- where about 250 Air Force crew and ground staff are based -- is only for counternarcotics and surveillance operations over Caribbean smuggling routes."
To be honest I saw the headline and never even bothered reading the article. Imo, and mo only, Chavez is a delusional, paranoid, dictator who is going to do and say anything to make sure he stays in power.
FWIW, the U.S. has had a presence in Aruba for a number of years. We have seen the U.S. military radar aircraft parked at Queen Beatrix. Sorry I do not know the specific type of aircraft. It looks similar to
Just saw this headline... Devaluation ups stakes in Venezuela election year http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN096521320100109 " ...Opponents were quick to criticize the socialist, who a year ago promised the global financial crisis would not touch "a hair" of Venezuela's economy. He announced the devaluation on Friday night during an important baseball game. ..."