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April 11, 2005

Spain Sells WMD's To Hugo Chavez

If Europe doesn't want us to "unilaterally" target terrorist-friendly and anti-American regimes, perhaps they can do their part by not unilaterally arming them with terrorist-friendly technologies:

Spain's Europa Press news agency reports that Venezuela purchased "biological and nerve agents" as well as dual-use materials from Spain sometime during the first half of 2004. According to a report about defense expenditures obtained by Europa Press, Venezuela was the only country listed under the category of "states to which chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials were sold." [Link to Enlglish translation deleted.]


The amount of biological or nerve agents probably isn't large -- Europa Press sets the purchase price at 30,000 Euros, which isn't out of line with the price of a single kilogram of South American heroin....But any amount of WMD in the hands of the Castroite Chavez regime is too much.


Interestingly, Spain and Venezuela have both ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, Article I of which requires that:

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never under any circumstances:
(a) To develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone;
(b) To use chemical weapons;
(c) To engage in any military preparations to use chemical weapons;
(d) To assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.

Yeah, we really should sign further treaties with Europe. They're so keen on honoring the ones already inked.


Assuming the story is accurate: President Luis Zapatero was elected in the aftermath of the 3-11 Madrid bombing. The Europa Press source dates the sales to Venezuela from the first half of 2004, meaning it could have been either the Socialist Zapatero or his pro-American predecessor Jose Maria Aznar who arranged the sale. Which administration is responsible? My first guess is that since Zapatero hasn't taken the opportunity to decry his opposition's perfidious practice of selling weapons to rogue dictators, he may end up with tapas on his face.

As the man says: They're not anti-war, they're just on the other side.

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posted by Ace at 10:37 AM

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