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Brazil’s Lula Defends His Defense Outlay and Backs Chavez

September 21st, 2009

sub1The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, denied South America had embarked in an arms race and justified purchases by Brazil, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia the four countries at the forefront of military hardware expenditure.

“I don’t believe we can see a signal or a hypothesis of an arms race in South America, each country needs a minimum of security and a minimum system of defense to safeguard its borders,” said Lula.

Brazil needs to refurbish its military equipment and update our industry, “that is why all our hardware incorporation involves technology transfer,” he added pointing out that the country needs all the investment in defense to protect “our long coastline, our hydrocarbons reserves and to combat the drugs threats along our territorial borders.”

He underlined that for Brazil the latest deals are “an investment in defense and technology.”

Lula also said that Chile and Colombia have the “best organized Armed Forces of the continent.”

These two countries have invested heavily in new weapons and equipment lately. Chile had taken advantage of the copper windfall earnings, of which a percentage is legally earmarked for military hardware.

Colombia has the support and aid from the United States. The Plan Colombia involves several billion US dollars to help combat terrorist groups and organized drugs cartels. Colombian forces have been fighting the rebels for decades but in the last ten years, particularly under President Alvaro Uribe the tide has decisively turned towards the government and its intelligence gathering system plus crack ground forces with air fast support.

Finally he supported Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez spending in military hardware.

“Venezuela is a country with huge reserves of oil and gas, and President Chavez was the victim of a coup to oust him, so it’s only normal he prepares for such situations.” According to the latest reports Brazil has agreed with France the purchase of five submarines, one of them nuclear powered; 36 fighter bomber, possibly Rafale, and 50 Cougar helicopters.

Colombia: 24 Israeli manufactured K-Fir fighter bombers; armored vehicles; 15 Black Hawk choppers; 60 speed boats and 20 howitzer 105 mm; Chile, 28 F-16, 2 Scorpene submarines, 8 frigates Type 23, 118 Leopard 2 tanks and 139 armored vehicles YPR 765.

Finally Venezuela has acquired 24 Shukov 30 fighter bombers, a missiles system, 92 tanks T 72, 50 helicopters MI and 100.000 AK 103 rifles.


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