Today Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Russia to close some major energy and arms deals – however it seems that Putin wants to keep the visit quiet to avoid needlessly antagonizing Washington before the Kennebunkport visit (maybe the Kremlin figures that Bush has been humbled enough). It is difficult to think of two world leaders who are as closely aligned as Chavez and Putin. Sometimes it begs the question, who is using who? From Reuters:
Speaking through an interpreter at the opening of a Latin American cultural centre in Moscow, Chavez said Russia and Venezuela were on the same side. “We, like you, are fighting for a fair world based on respect for all peoples. American imperialism is destroying peoples, undermining their traditional cultural values,” he said. “I want to recall Lenin’s work, ‘What to do’ in which he described imperialism as the last stage of capitalism. The world is returning to this idea.” Chavez said that at his last meeting with his ally, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the two men had raised a toast to Putin for a speech in Munich in February when he attacked Washington for trying to impose its will on the rest of the world.