Venezuela: Next step to longer-range missiles

posted at 2:00 pm on May 29, 2011 by J.E. Dyer

China launched a communication satellite for Venezuela in 2008.  The next phase in Hugo Chavez’s drive for Bolivarian excellence will entail the Venezuelans launching their own satellite (with Chinese assistance) in 2012 – a feat with dual implications.

One is related to the nature of the payload.  According to a Venezuelan official this week, the satellite will have a surveillance mission:

Ricardo Menendez said Thursday that the earth-observation satellite, to be built at a cost of $140 million, would be used to monitor troop movements and illegal mining as well as study climate change and the environment.

In other words, it will carry an imaging sensor or sensors, taskable by the Venezuelan authorities.  Although satellite imagery has been available commercially for some time, it makes a significant difference to timeliness (and other aspects of coverage) to be able to downlink the signal directly, without a middleman, and define and task the image parameters yourself.  Depending on the orbital path, Venezuela may have regular “looks” at areas of interest to Hugo Chavez’s buddies abroad.  Presumably, the orbit will be optimized for Central America, which will limit how much it can be optimized for coverage of El Norte.  In any case, it will be optimized for military applications.

The other implication involves rocket technology.  Launching satellites into earth orbit is a significant step in developing the capability to build long-range missiles.  Chavez is already building a joint missile base with Iran in northwestern Venezuela, a project that includes collaborating on the development of a new missile series.  The technological boost from Chinese rocketry will go together with joint missile development like a horse and carriage, accelerating Venezuela’s timeline to medium- and long-range missiles of her own.

Being corrupt, oppressive, and ill-managed has yet to stop rotten dictatorships from developing capabilities like these, especially when China and Iran are there to lend a helping hand.  The US has no plan for defense against missiles from the south, nor a concept for collaborating on missile defense for our friends in Latin America.  But the missiles are coming, as is an enhanced, military-grade intelligence capability for Hugo Chavez.

Photo: China Great Wall Industry Corporation

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Lucky for us, Chavez is close friends with Comrade Zero.

I mean, right?

Cicero43 on May 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Obama’s Memorial Day Weekend Gas Prices !!

Nearly Nobody on May 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Oh, when I heard there was a big issue with a left-wing weiner, I didn’t realize they meant Chavez.

Laura in Maryland on May 29, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Lucky for us, Chavez is close friends with Comrade Zero.

I mean, right?

Cicero43 on May 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Birds of a feather………….

iurockhead on May 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

This calls for a commission.

SlimyBill on May 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Another problem that would be an afternoon’s work to fix if we weren’t 14T in debt.

HitNRun on May 29, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Birds of a feather………….

iurockhead on May 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

…hate America together.

ebrown2 on May 29, 2011 at 2:40 PM

The US has no plan for defense against missiles from the south, nor a concept for collaborating on missile defense for our friends in Latin America.

Wouldn’t a few well placed Aegis Missile Cruisers be able to negate any IRBMs and ICBMs launched by Chavez?

McBaine on May 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Dear Hugo,

Brazil thinks you’re funny.

love,
Brazil

Limerick on May 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Wonder why Zero didn’t offer his bud a couple of $B just to get the project off the ground, so to speak, since we’re in the mode to help out all the other commie countries lately. Do the other SA states accept Hugo’s desire for long range missiles?

Kissmygrits on May 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Sounds to me like a joint operation for the new CIA and the Navy Seals.

RebeccaH on May 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

One of the best strategies for penetrating a strong defensive shield is to force it to defend multiple targets at widely divergent points, while simultaneously starving it of resources at its center.
With a monstrous debt and a failing productive economic base at it’s core, and a widening field of enemies around its perimeter, the decision-makers that defend America are being forced to make ever more complex choices between alternative uses for increasingly scarce resources. Lose of focus, on the part of American leadership, compounded by a thinning defensive shield, becomes a greater risk with every increment of complexity.
Hugo Chavez, by himself, is at best a minor irritant. As one more on a lengthening list of irritants, he contributes to a sum total that is far worse than one large and obvious enemy.

Lew on May 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM

This loon is no different than Gaddafi.

Socialist fairness would dictate ……

percysunshine on May 29, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Just how much money is the good old U.S.A. giving to this sh*t hole?…year 2010 $6 million

Now, you tell me there not something terribly wrong with this country?

try again later on May 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

How far would one have to dig to find Russian (Putin)fingerprints in the mix? The Russians aid Iran, The Chinese aid Iran, The Iranians and Chinese aid Venezuela.

fourdeucer on May 29, 2011 at 3:38 PM

to be built at a cost of $140 million,

It also ocurred to me the drug cartels would not be beyond ponying up for a good share of insurance that their product gets to market without interuption.

fourdeucer on May 29, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Rest assured that every waking moment Chavez is worried about his own upcoming Qadaffi-part II experience.
Wonder how much time and money is being expended by Chavez to build himself hiding places around the country?

A smart US President would be working like heck to reduce the price of oil to starve these countries and cause a revolution within.

albill on May 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Wouldn’t a few well placed Aegis Missile Cruisers be able to negate any IRBMs and ICBMs launched by Chavez?

McBaine on May 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Yes, but this country prefers massively excessive responses to perceived threats so that probably isn’t enough.
In the 60′s, at a time when the USSR had only 4 long-range nuclear missiles, the US embarked on a massive ICBM build up based on a paranoid fantasy, the so-called Soviet ‘missile gap’.

bayam on May 29, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Ricardo Menendez said Thursday that the earth-observation satellite, to be built at a cost of $140 million, would be used to monitor troop movements and illegal mining as well as study climate change and the environment.

Heh… I love the laundry list of NYT editorial-board concerns. If Chavez gets any pushback (unlikely from his amigo Obama), expect him to announce that the satellite will also be used track trans fats, bullying of high-school homosexuals, violations of the Libby Ledbetter law and Sarah Palin’s bus tour.

Fabozz on May 29, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Video: Clueless Obama Chewing Gum (Nicorette) at the Joplin Memorial

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/video-clueless-obama-chewing-gum.html

Nearly Nobody on May 29, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Ms Dyer I miss Doc Zero less since I’ve been reading your
blogs.

Thanks!

countrybumpkin on May 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM

We need a missile defense system throughout the US. One that is prepared for thousands of missiles to rain down on us for days.

Every time there has ever been a scenario of a nuke attack, it always involves 1st strike, then we counter strike, then they strike again, etc.
I have never believed that scenario. If we are ever attacked by China or Russia, they will not give us a chance to counter strike. They will rain missiles down on us for days if they are able to.

New wars are never what people expect. We need to prepare for the unexpected and the worse case scenario. We should have thousands of Patriot missile systems throughout America. Yeah, I know libs will scream that we dare protect ourselves. They screamed like crazy when Reagan installed Pershing missiles in Europe. But he did it anyway.

JellyToast on May 29, 2011 at 6:16 PM

It’s just so Chavez can send his parrot to the Moon!

profitsbeard on May 29, 2011 at 8:12 PM

If China wants to help Venezuela become a nuclear missile threat to us, we could revisit our position on providing nuclear weapons to Taiwan. If Iran wants to put long range missiles in Venezuela, then Iran’s development of nuclear weapons could be looked on as the next step in a new Cuban Missile crisis in this hemisphere. Iran should know that any nuclear weapons showing up in Venezuela will mean the end of the Iranian regime.

KW64 on May 29, 2011 at 10:14 PM

KW64- Normally you’d be right. Having an anti-American enemy in the White House negates all of your common sense views.

adamsmith on May 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM

One misstep by this madman should be his last.

SC.Charlie on May 30, 2011 at 4:11 PM

People need to STOP buying products that are made in China. It’s become really clear that these people are NOT interested in being our friends at this point, and it’s past time to stop enriching their economy.

Murf76 on May 30, 2011 at 11:46 PM