Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunken Submarines

There are two contradictory reports circulating about the sell of French arms to Venezuela.

The first one, published by Spanish newspaper El País, says that French defense company Thales will produce weapons for eight patrol ships Venezuela is buying from Spain. The French company would charge US$275 m for the weapons, says the clip.

The second report comes from Strategy Page website. It says that French President Jacques Chirac turned down a Venezuelan bid to acquire two Scorpene diesel submarines valued in excess of US$ 1b. “Chirac is trying to rebuild relations with the U.S., but there's also serious concern about Venezuela's unstable President Hugo Chavez. French investments in Venezuela have been among those "foreign" interests threatened with "nationalization" by the Chavez regime,” explains the website.

If Strategy Page analysis was right France wouldn’t sale any weapons at all. To me, the submarine story sounds like a PR bluff to divert the attention while cashing a few hundred million.


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