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 The Venezuelan mission at the United Nations in Geneva has sent a notice to the Office of United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) labeling as "unreasonable" the latter's petition to release Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.
HUMAN RIGHTS Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, gathered on Wednesday in Madrid. At the meeting, Rajoy expressed his concerns about the detention of the dissenter, whose immediate release was requested by the United Nations in a resolution issued recently.
LOPEZ'S CASE Lilian Tintori, the wife of detained opposition leader Leopoldo López, asserted on Tuesday that "justice is militarized in Venezuela," because the Venezuelan government "has not observed" the resolution issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations (UN) asking for the release of her husband.