Deal to Sell Planes to Venezuela Off
Oct. 18, 2006, 6:48AM
MADRID, Spain — A Spanish company has dropped a U.S.-opposed, multimillion-dollar plan to sell 12 military transport planes to Venezuela, the Spanish foreign minister said Wednesday.
EADS-Casa, an affiliate of a European aerospace consortium, had been trying to get around U.S. objections to including American-made technology in the aircraft by substituting these parts with ones available on the international market.
But the expense made the idea commercially unfeasible, Miguel Angel Moratinos told a breakfast meeting of politicians and journalists.
"The financial effort needed to adapt to the technological requirements of the United States was not worth it," Moratinos said.
The planes were part of a broader package of military sales to Venezuela that the U.S. government has opposed as part of its opposition to President Hugo Chavez, whom it has called a destabilizing force in Latin America.
Caracas and Madrid agreed in November on the sale, which also calls for eight patrol boats to be built for Venezuela.
The total price tag was originally estimated at more than $2.2 billion making it Spain's largest-ever defense deal.
The plane component of the deal was estimated at $630 million. The aircraft in question were 10 C295 transport planes and two C2-195 patrol planes.
The U.S. government, which has repeatedly clashed with the leftist Chavez, had said it would not permit the sale if the planes included American parts _ forcing EADS-Casa to search on the international market for replacements.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Chávez suffers another setback
The devil-fighting dictator Hugo Chávez has spent billions of dollars in his effort to secure a seat on the UN Security Council, but all he has gotten is a couple of kicks in the culo. It looks like Chávez will not have its seat on the UNSC, much to the dismay of his Cuban managers. In the open it appears that he has plenty of supporters, and they are easy to spot, they are the ones with their hand extended waiting for the hand-outs. When it comes to the secret vote, the number of “friends” dwindle. And what about this other setback?