The US State Department on Wednesday warned that if Venezuela
decided to purchase Russian weapons, Washington would have
to express its concerns to Moscow about Hugo Chávez'
potential arms race.
"We have already voiced our concern about what we deemed 'a disproportionate military concentration' in Venezuela," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
He clarified that Russia will eventually have to make a decision, but before that Moscow will have to know "whom they are going to sell their weapons," AP reported.
McCormack said: "We are to express our view (to the Russian Government) before any future sale."
"We would ask them (Russian) to take a closer look at what exactly Venezuela is trying to do, and consider if the purchases sought actually match Venezuelan needs."
McCormack explained that the US move to prohibit the sale of US military goods and services to Venezuela is not an arms embargo. "Embargo is a term loaded (with implications.) I would rather use 'restriction,'" he added.
LOPEZ CASE Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, met on Friday with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
HUMAN RIGHTS Pictures published on Thursday show the national coordinator of opposition Voluntad Popular party Leopoldo López and former mayor of San Cristóbal, Táchira state, Daniel Ceballos calling for their own release and that of all the political prisoners in Venezuela, pursuant to a ruling issued by the United Nations Organization last October 8.
LOPEZ'S CASE Tanzanian lawyer Roland Adjovi, one of the five members of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, noted that the resolution urging Venezuela to release opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos "is binding upon the government," and added that the authorities had to "observe the group's decision."