Alarm over Chavez's Military Buildup

The Venezuelan President's show of force on Colombia's border has heightened U.S. concerns about his escalating arms purchases from Russia
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech during a new year's celebration at Tiuna fort in Caracas, Dec. 28, 2007 PEDRO REY/AFP/Getty Images

While Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez likes to boast that his revolution is constructing a new socialist man, he isn't neglecting the country's soldiers whose support is essential to his rule. Over the last three years, Chávez has spent more than $4 billion on jet fighters, attack helicopters, and rifles. And he is poised to spend billions more later this year on Russian-made submarines and air defense systems.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.