Top US general: Venezuela not a threat
August 1, 2012
LIMA, Peru (AP) — The Air Force general responsible for U.S. military operations in most of Latin America said Tuesday that he does not believe Venezuela, despite ongoing arms purchases and close ties to Iran, poses a national security threat to the United States.
Gen. Douglas Fraser also said he would like to see more counterdrug cooperation from Venezuela, from which most northbound cocaine smuggling flights continue to originate, according to U.S. and Colombian officials.
Fraser was asked if he thought Venezuela's newly announced development of unmanned aerial vehicles and continued purchase of billions of dollars' worth of weaponry, including anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and other nations, did not present a danger to his country.
"From my standpoint, no, I don't see it that way," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "I don't see them as a national security threat."