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From the nytimes.com article:
As Washington tries to rebuild its strained relationships in Latin America, China is stepping in vigorously, offering countries across the region large amounts of money while they struggle with sharply slowing economies, a plunge in commodity prices and restricted access to credit.

In recent weeks, China has been negotiating deals to double a development fund in Venezuela to $12 billion, lend Ecuador at least $1 billion to build a hydroelectric plant, provide Argentina with access to more than $10 billion in Chinese currency and lend Brazil’s national oil company $10 billion. The deals largely focus on China locking in natural resources like oil for years to come.

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From the breitbart.com article:
Russia could use bases for its strategic bombers on the doorstep of the United States in Cuba and Venezuela to underpin long-distance patrols in the region, a senior air force officer said Saturday.

“This is possible in Cuba,” General Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of the Russian air force’s strategic aviation staff, told the Interfax-AVN military news agency.

The comments were the latest signal that Moscow intends to project its military capability in far-flung corners of the globe despite a tight defence budget and hardware that experts consider in many respects outdated.

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From the news.yahoo.com article:
Russian warships have been plying the waters off Venezuela and Panama in recent weeks and are now heading for Cuba, but U.S. officials are not so much wringing their hands as yawning.

Asked about a Russian warship transiting the Panama Canal earlier this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who saw the ship while crossing the canal last week — told The Associated Press: “I guess they’re on R&R. It’s fine.”

The Pentagon, while puzzled by the Russians’ actions, also is taking a ho-hum attitude. The U.S. military commander for the region, Adm. James Stavridis, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said that from his vantage point, there is no reason to be concerned about the Russian naval activity.

“They pose no military threat to the U.S.,” Stavridis said in an e-mail to the AP on Tuesday.

Under the gaze of the U.S. Southern Command, Russian ships this fall held joint exercises with the navy of Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, is a fierce U.S. critic.

Navy Rear Adm. Tom Meek, the deputy director for security and intelligence at Southern Command, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he sees little chance of Russia teaming up with Venezuela in a militarily meaningful way.

“I don’t think that Russia and Venezuela are really serious about putting together a military coalition that would give them any kind of aggregate military capability to oppose anybody,” Meek said. “Frankly, the maneuvers they conducted down here were so basic and rudimentary that they did not amount to anything, in my opinion.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made no effort to hide his irritation at what he considers American arrogance.

“God forbid from engaging in any kind of controversy in the American continent,” he said, referring to his Blackjack bombers flying to Venezuela for a training exercise. “This is considered the ‘holiest of the holy,'” he said during a meeting with Western political scholars at his Black Sea residence in Sochi. “And they drive ships with weapons to a place just 10 kilometers from where we’re at? Is this normal? Is this an equitable move?”

The joint naval exercises with Venezuela were Russia’s way of “demonstrating to the U.S. that it has a foothold in a region traditionally dominated by the U.S.,” said analyst Anna Gilmour at Jane’s Intelligence Review.

Still, she and many Russian analysts say Moscow’s deployments of warships are largely for show.

Russia’s navy is a shadow of its Soviet-era force, having suffered from a serious lack of investment since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Many ships and submarines have rusted away at their berths, and deadly accidents occur regularly.

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Diplomacide: “I sure hope this is not a display of hubris on the part of the Americans.”

From the americanthinker.com article:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a nuclear energy program in Venezuela and said Moscow is willing to participate in a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo Chavez.

Medvedev used his visit to Venezuela—the first by a Russian president—to extend Moscow’s reach into Latin America and deepen trade and military ties. Chavez denied trying to provoke the United States, but he welcomed Russia’s growing presence in Latin America as a reflection of declining U.S. influence.

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Thanks to Aesthetic Traditionalist for pointing out this article.

From the timesonline.co.uk
Russia flexed its muscles in America’s backyard yesterday as it sent one of its largest warships to join military exercises in the Caribbean. The nuclear-powered flagship Peter the Great set off for Venezuela with the submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two support vessels in the first Russian naval mission in Latin America since the end of the Cold War.

The voyage to join the Venezuelan Navy for manoeuvres came only days after Russian strategic nuclear bombers made their first visit to the country. Hugo Chávez, the President, said then that the arrival of the strike force was a warning to the US. The vehemently antiAmerican Venezuelan leader is due to visit Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian President, in Moscow this week as part of a tour that includes visits to Cuba and China.

Pavel Felgengauer, a leading Russian defence expert, told The Times: “It’s to show the flag and the finger to the United States.

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From the timesonline.co.uk article:
Russia snubbed its nose at the United States today by announcing plans to sell military equipment to both Iran and Venezuela.

The head of the state arms exporter said that Russia was negotiating to sell new anti-aircraft systems to Iran despite American objections.

“Contacts between our countries are continuing and we do not see any reason to suspend them,” Anatoly Isaikin, general director of Rosoboronexport, told Ria-Novosti at an arms fair in South Africa.

Reports have circulated for some time that Russia is preparing to sell its S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. The missiles have a range of more than 150 kilometres and can intercept jets approaching at low altitudes.

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said that it was logical to conclude a lucrative contract with Iran “in the current situation, when the US and the West in general are stubbornly gearing toward a confrontation with Russia”.

Russia has already delivered 29 Tor-M1 missile systems under a $700 million deal with Iran in 2005.

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From the breitbart.com article:
Two Tu-160 Russian strategic bombers landed Wednesday at an airbase in Venezuela to take part in military exercises, Russian news agencies reported, citing the Russian defence ministry.

Source here.

From the reuters.com article:
Russia said on Monday it would send a heavily-armed nuclear-powered cruiser to the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise with Venezuela, its first major maneuvers on the United States’ doorstep since the Cold War.

Russian officials denied the mission was linked to a naval standoff with U.S warships in the Black Sea, but it will take place at a time of high tension between Washington and Moscow over the conflict in Georgia.

Washington has played down the significance of the exercise.

Russia has criticized the United States for sending a command ship and two other naval vessels to Georgia, on its southern border, to deliver aid and show support for President Mikheil Saakashvili after Moscow sent troops into Georgia.

Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev asked on Saturday how Washington would feel “if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean … using our navy”.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Monday that the naval mission to Venezuela would include the nuclear-powered battle cruiser “Peter the Great”, one of the world’s largest combat warships.

Moscow’s most modern destroyer, the “Admiral Chabanenko”, will also steam to the Caribbean, along with other ships, including a fuel tanker, he added.

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Ship specifics here.

From the reuters.com article:
Several Russian ships and 1,000 soldiers will take part in joint naval maneuvers with Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea later this year, exercises likely to increase diplomatic tensions with Washington, a pro-government newspaper reported on Saturday.

Quoting Venezuela’s naval intelligence director, Salbarore Cammarata, the newspaper Vea said four Russian boats would visit Venezuelan waters from November 10 to 14.

Plans for the naval operations come at a time of heightened diplomatic tension and Cold War-style rhetoric between Moscow and the United States over the recent war in Georgia and plans for a U.S. missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Cammarata said it would be the first time Russia’s navy carried out such exercises in Latin America. He said the Venezuelan air force would also take part.

Chavez, who buys billions of dollars of weapons from Russia, has criticized this year’s reactivation of the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet, which will patrol Latin America for the first time in over 50 years.The socialist Chavez says he fears the United States will invade oil-rich Venezuela and he supports Russia’s growing geopolitical presence as a counterbalance to U.S. power.

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Additional info:
4th Fleet
US Navy Numbered Fleets

From the article:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez brought his revolutionary zeal to the cartel that controls 40 percent of the world’s oil, urging fellow members at a weekend summit to fight against “imperialism” and “exploitation.”

Chavez used the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to advance a struggle for the soul of the cartel. Countering him was the conference host, Saudi King Abdullah, who said the organization’s goal was simply to produce prosperity.

Their contrasting visions elbowed aside the usual OPEC talk about production quotas and currency fluctuations. In the short term at least, Abdullah’s vision is likely to prevail, said Ihsan Bu-Hulaiga, who runs a private business consulting firm in Riyadh and advises the Saudi government.

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
August 2017
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