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Hugo Chavez's nuclear dreams and other revolutionary jokes

By Aleksander Boyd

London 26.05.05 | Hugo Chavez's choice of words, in the last episode of his dominical live sitcom, echoed around centres of world power. From London to Madrid to DC many heads turned at the mention of the N word by the Venezuelan deranged president. Concerned non-Venezuelan analysts keep pondering whether or not this time round Chavez will make his word good. For us Venezuelans, accustomed as we are with the endless nonsense that emanates from the presidential mouth, is rather clear that what it is is the desperate and pathetic attempt of an increasingly disturbed megalomaniac trying to deviate attention from the evident debacle of his administration. However, following Pedro Burelli's advice, I shall try and put things in perspective for those that may doubt our views.

Former scientist and fellow blogger Miguel Octavio was on top of things reporting "Chavez talked about using Iranian solar technology and “starting” a Venezuelan nuclear program". He goes on the matter expressing "speaking of nuclear technology, Venezuela even has a nuclear reactor, which Chavez appears not to know about, but it is not in use, it is GE technology from the 1950’s, the control room was tubes and there was never money available to upgrade it. Thus, it has been converted into an irradiation plant". Daniel Duquenal on his part was a tad harsher this time round with respect to the Iranian participation and possible location of a nuclear facility in Venezuela "But let's assume that they say yes. Where in Venezuela? A country where we know whenever Chavez farts in Miraflores, cannot hide a nuclear facility, probably not even a single nuclear missile bought on Internet. Heck, the FARC could mount a nuclear base in Venezuela and the army would not find out unless the FARC comes shopping for Brazilian chicken at the nearby Mercal run by the Army...."

But let us not exclude from the issue the chavista source of intelligence and inspiration, Cuba, for regardless of what some may say Chavez does not act nor speaks without first consulting with Castro. The latter has been having a field day with the Posada Carriles case, but as Oppenheimer comments "what about the many terrorists that Castro hosts in his island?" Not to be diverted by non-issues and media shows one has to look into Cuba's own nuclear development programme, chaired and conducted by the very own son of the supreme leader, Fidel Castro Diaz Balart. In a paragraph entitled "Some facts and realities on the Cuban Nuclear Policy" Castro Diaz Balart expands into Cuba's nuclear capacity stating:

At the end of the 1970s, Cuba decided to establish the infrastructure required to assimilate nuclear power as part of an integrated development strategy. For that purpose, it signed two basic agreements with the Government of the former Soviet Union. One agreement concerned the design, supply and construction of a nuclear power plant with two WWER-440 type units, an improved B-318 model. The other agreement concerned the design, supply and construction of a nuclear research centre with an IRT-type 10 megawatt research reactor (made in the former Soviet Union), as well as a critical assembly (zero power reactor) made in Hungary and included in a preexisting agreement with that country.

Although these intergovernmental agreements and their respective implementation contracts were signed, in no case were the conditions for the supply of nuclear material agreed.

In the 1980s, and particularly the second half of that decade, Cuba made substantial progress in the nuclear field. An appropriate infrastructure conducive to the safe use of nuclear applications was established, and steps forward were made in the construction of the Juragua power plant and in the design and construction work for the Nuclear Research Centre.

However, as a result of the changes that took place in the global political system at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s culminating in the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the implementation of the aforementioned basic agreements was suspended. In the light of this process and well-known external political factors, the Cuban Government decided to revise the strategic direction of the Cuban nuclear programme.

On 5 September 1992, the construction of the Juragua nuclear power plant was temporarily suspended for economic and financial reasons. The vast majority of the supplies for unit one and part of those for unit two are stored in sites designated for that purpose. A costly storage programme has been implemented which has made it possible to maintain the plant in suitable condition to continue the construction work when conditions permit. A feasibility study was also concluded and this demonstrated the technical and economic viability of the construction work. It should be noted that circumstances prevented third parties who could potentially participate in the completion and commissioning of the nuclear plant from doing so, despite the interest that they had shown.

Wow, this means that in spite of having a 'world class education system' and some of the 'foremost scientist' of the earth, Cuba, with all the help -financial, technical and intellectual from the USSR- could not, in more than 12 years, get the nuclear project off the ground. Castro Jr must be an extremely incompetent man, no wonder why Cubans dread the death of the senior so much...

Now extrapolate that to Chavez's Venezuela whose feats to date have been to increase poverty, unemployment and crime. Add to the picture the sheer destruction brought about to the only profitable enterprise that the country had, read PDVSA, and realization of the absolute impossibility of developing a nuclear programme arrives. On top of that factor in Jack Straws declarations yesterday in Geneva commenting upon Iran's renewing "its pledge not to seek nuclear weapons during talks in Geneva with European Union countries" (sic).

Cuba accessed the Treaty of the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on August 4th 2002. Venezuela signed the Treaty for the first time on July 1st 1.968 and ratified on September 25th 1.975. Let us not be afraid of words here; the Chavez administration lacks the capacity to bring to life such a project, any project. The developing of a nuclear programme requires a high degree of continuity that Chavez and his utterly inefficient minions most certainly do not possess. Ergo I consider fitting to tranquilize some by saying that before Venezuela develops any nukes Ratzinger will convert to Islamism.

Chavez, as his revered Cuban idol, has mastered media manipulation to perfection. Every time a major scandal breaks, as with PDVSA's ever decreasing output and rampant corruption, Chavez comes on TV and makes some wild statements to deviate attention from the immense failure of his revolutionary experiment. Be it Posada Carriles, US invasions, assassination plots, CIA sabotage of the oil industry... mind you all those arguments seek to smack public opinion, absorbed on other issues. When FARC's Rodrigo Granda was captured in Caracas he cried bloody murder accusing Colombia of having violated our sovereignty in spite of the fact that the narcoterrorist was being protected by his administration and had received Venezuelan citizenship. How a man with such clear connections with terrorism demands another government for a fugitive escapes me. Nonetheless it must be said that the MSM's knee jerk reactions to Chavez verbal diarrhea is in no small part responsible for the spread of fear and preoccupation that are entirely unsubstantiated. Castro and Chavez are attention junkies, however the failed coupster needs the equivalent of the "US embargo to Cuba" in order to give coherence to his bullshit and blame his own failure on foreign actors. For obvious reasons the US will not go down that road with Venezuela therefore Chavez is desperate for an 'asymmetric war' with the US, which, must be stressed he won't get. As I have said someplace else it must be desperately disturbing to be the self proclaimed leader of the 'anti world order' movement and not having escaped even one assassination attempt of the savage capitalist forces, hence the agony of Hugo Chavez...

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