VIO News Blog

October 2, 2008

If the Cold War is Over, Why Keep Bringing it Up?

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon said yesterday that Russia’s recent arms sales to Venezuela pose no “military or geopolitical threat” to the US. According to the AP, Shannon also indicated that he has “no intention of reviving Cold War images or Cold War rhetoric.” Media attention to strengthened ties between Russia and Venezuela has been exaggerated, and some US officials — including Presidential hopeful John McCain — have played up false allegations of a “threat” from Venezuela. The AP also reports on comments by Russian President Medvedev, who said that ideological differences between the US and Russia like those present during the Cold War do not exist today.

In Venezuela, the tragic story of the death of a student in the western state of Zulia  is making news today. AP reports that the young man was the leader of a student group allied with the political party Copei, though it is not known whether his fatal shooting was at all connected to his political activism. Authorities are investigating.

Finally, more news comes in the trial of Florida-based Venezuelan businessmen pleading guilty to US allegations that they acted as unregistered foreign agents. Carlos Kauffmann testified yesterday that the governments of Venezuela and Argentina were involved in the $800,000 “suitcase scandal” and its coverup. Questions about the evidence, as well as reputation of the men, remain unanswered, as do the valid concerns of analysts who have suggested that the trial is a politically motivated attack on Venezuela by the US.

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