martedì, giugno 20, 2006

The son of Castro behind the Venezuela's nuclear escalaton? - Western Hemisphere Policy Watch:

Venezuela Goes Nuclear?

(16 Jun 06) The Little Man from Caracas sought and secured for Venezuela the vice-presidency of the Regional Cooperative Agreement for the Advancement of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARCAL).

Founded in the 1980s by Andean countries, ARCAL's stated "is to bolster development of nuclear science and technology in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also encourages technical cooperation among the member countries in the fields of energy, health, agriculture, water supply, industry, nuclear safety and radioactive protection." However, WHPW has suspected for some time that this group has become a tool of Latin American populists to secure nuclear technology for non-conventional uses (i.e., military uses).

Some of the member countries include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.

With the possible exception of Argentina and Brazil (nuclear power countries), it is not clear why any of the other nations that are mostly destitute or struggling with political problems of their own, would invest the little monies available to them for such regional groups?

We know that the Little Man from Caracas has stated publicly - mainly before "elected" the first time - that it was Venezuela's right to own a nuclear weapons system. We also know that he has been working closely with other nuclear powers such as Iran, to gather technological information for a civilian program of his own.

Venezuelan and Cuban nuclear scientists have pored over plans of the failed Juragua nuclear power plant project in Cuba and may be adapting it for other uses. Fidel Castro, Jr., a nuclear engineer, has traveled to Venezuela many times on missions related to nuclear power and related matters (this includes trips to Iran as well). And, by the way, start paying more attention to the Bearded One's son - he makes more sense as an heir apparent to his dad than his uncle Raul.

Will we all wake up some day to learn that Venezuela has a nuke? Probably no time soon. That a Latin American power would like a military nuke capability? We think so. For now, our focus is on Brazil that has a program operated by its Navy and has been suspected of engaging in suspect activities in recent years. Lula da Silva has repeatedly rejected efforts by IAES inspectors to visit Brazil for routine inspections.

This latest political move by the Little Man from Caracas should be noted and stored for future use. We know not why he does it now, but we do not like his track record of anti-U.S. positions and diatribes. It is not a far leap to think that he and his leftist cohorts are up to no good with regards to nuclear power issues.

Unlike the Iran threat that is mainly a Middle East issue, a portable nuke device can easily make its way from, say Cuba (a member of the Cuba/Venezuela/Brazil Axis) to South Florida or the American southwest along the border.

Policy makers in Foggy Bottom and Under the Dome should begin taking note of these matters in the Western Hemisphere. Latin America is more than immigration, illegal drugs, and money laundering. There is a soft undercurrent of nuclear proliferation issues that are, at least, items to be monitored if not of concern in the long run.
posted by Western Hemisphere Policy Watch at 6/16/2006 04:18:00 AM

Western Hemisphere Policy Watch: Venezuela Goes Nuclear?