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Cablegate: Russian Arms Arrive in Venezuela, Air Defense

VZCZCXYZ0142
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHCV #0422 0871551
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271551Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0856
INFO RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK 0025
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0309

UNCLAS CARACAS 000422

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

USSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MCAP PTER BO RS VE
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ARMS ARRIVE IN VENEZUELA, AIR DEFENSE
PLANNED

REF: 2007 CARACAS 02010

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Nineteen shipping containers carrying
Russian made ammunition for AK-103 assault rifles were
transferred from Puerto Cabello to Maracay under heavy
security on March 25 according to local media. General
Alejandro Tineo of the 41st Armored Division added that the
shipment included machinery for the Venezuelan rifle factory
expected to open in 2009. Local dailies also reported that
the Belarus parliament commenced debate to ratify an
agreement signed by Presidents Chavez and Lukashenko for
Belarus to provide an integrated air defense system. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) More than 100 soldiers, intelligence officials and
state police provided security to 19 tractor trailers hauling
ammunition and machine tools to the headquarters of
Venezuela's state arms manufacturer CAVIM in Maracay. The
convoy traveled March 25 from Puerto Cabello as a helicopter
gunship flew overhead. General Alejandro Tineo of the of the
41st Armored Division explained that the ammunition was for
the 100,000 AK-103 assault rifles purchased earlier and that
the containers also held machine tools for the CAVIM AK-103
factory under construction in Ciudad Jardin. The general
added that although the cornerstone had been laid, (Reftel)
the factory was not expected to be operational until next
year.

3. (SBU) Local media also reported that the Belarus
parliament had begun debate on the ratification of an arms
agreement signed between Presidents Chavez and Lukashenko in
2007. Specifically, the two leaders reportedly agreed to
plan, build, install and train Venezuelan personnel in the
use of an integrated air defense radar system to accompany
Russian S-300 "GARGOYLE" and Tor M-1 "GAUNTLET" missiles
Venezuela plans to acquire.

DUDDY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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