Not content to abandon her allies in combating global terrorism, Spain is now selling military hardware to Venezuela. According to Waller:
Until two years ago, Spain was a staunch ally in the global war on terrorists and their supporters. Most observers expected Spain's pro-U.S. government to win re-election until the al-Qaida bombings of the Madrid transit system propelled the Socialist Workers Party to power.
In one of his first acts in office, after pledging to pull Spain from the Iraq coalition, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero flew to Venezuela to sell military patrol boats and CASA CN-235 transport planes to the dictator Chavez.
After failing to persuade Spain not to make the sale, the Bush administration invoked a law allowing the US to veto the sale of any arms containing US-made parts. No problema, said Spain. They pulled the US parts and made the sale.
And as if that wasn't enough, Spain and Venezuela "conspired to rub it in America's face abroad, while CASA lobbied in Washington for U.S. tax dollars." To wit:
Last November, after CASA lobbyists had gotten Congress
to spend $68 million on the first Coast Guard CN-235s, Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono flew to Caracas "to stress what [Chavez] described as a 'defeat' of the United States," according to the major Madrid daily El Pais.
In Caracas, Bono publicly criticized the United States as an "empire" as he stood with Chavez, who praised Spain for "confronting the hegemonic and imperialistic ambitions of the elite that now governs the United States [and is] massacring the people
While Chavez celebrated the deal with the Spanish defense minister, he refused entry to a bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation that had been cleared to visit Venezuela. In an act orchestrated to humiliate Congress, Chavez forced the lawmakers (led by 81-year-old House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill.) to sit in their plane for two hours without being allowed to disembark. Chavez then ordered the congressmen expelled from the country.
This behavior from a supposed ally of the US is outrageous, and any member of congress who votes to authorize the purchase of even a single olive from Spain should be voted out of office.