Surreal Statements from State on Russian Bomber Reports

Ray Walser /

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Are the Russians going to establish a bomber presence in Venezuela or Cuba? This past weekend a Russian air force commander spoke of potential basing opportunities in Venezuela while leftist President Hugo Chavez seemed to indicate a readiness to accept Russian aircraft. But then Chavez “walked the cat back” as the press officials like to say.

Or didn’t he?

Both the Pentagon and State Department press folks were quick to downplay the issue, not wishing to make waves when the White House has so much on its plate. One exchange at the State Department’s daily presser on March 16 between acting Department spokesman Robert Wood and the press, however, bordered on the surreal: (more…)