September 16, 2009
From the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. AS/COA Online's news brief examines the major—as well as some of the overlooked—events and stories occurring across the Americas. Check back every Wednesday for the weekly roundup.
Clinton, Vázquez Worry over LatAm Arms Race
Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington September 15 where, during a press conference, they expressed concern about the possibility of a Latin American arms buildup. Clinton referred in particular to Venezuela’s announcement that it would purchase $2.2 billion worth of arms from Moscow, saying: “[W]e urge Venezuela to be transparent in its purchases, clear about its purposes. They should be putting in place procedures and practices to ensure that the weapons that they buy are not diverted to insurgent groups or illegal organizations, like drug trafficking gangs and other criminal cartels.” Vázquez added that, in a region marked by social inequality, resources should be devoted to poverty alleviation rather than weapons.
Read an AS/COA analysis of the South American arms spending, focusing in particular on recent arms deals forged by Venezuela and Brazil.