New York Times: “Putin Visits Venezuela to Discuss Oil and Arms”
Mr. Putin’s one-day visit built on a relationship rooted in billions of dollars of Russian arms sales to Venezuela over the past decade. Venezuela has also emerged as one of Russia’s most vocal supporters, recognizing two Russian-backed separatist enclaves of Georgia in 2009 and applauding Russian efforts to advance the ambitions of an embryonic group of gas-rich nations.
New York Times: “Criticism of Chávez Stifled by Arrests”
When Judge María Lourdes Afiuni issued a ruling in December that irked President Hugo Chávez, he did little to contain his outrage. The president, contending on national television that she would have been put before a firing squad in earlier times, sent his secret intelligence police to arrest her.