Monday, August 29, 2005

Venezuelan tear-gas ... I'm still working on the site stuff. But in the meantime I couldn't help but notice this story yesterday in the LATimes, which reports that "a street march by hundreds of Venezuelans opposed to President Hugo Chavez turned violent Saturday, when people believed to be government supporters threw rocks and tear-gas canisters at the protesters."

Recall that I a few weeks ago I posted on how the State Department had cleared $24.5 million in direct commercial sales (DCS) of military hardware to be sold to Chavez's government. That amount includes one DCS of $425,000 for what is listed as "Riot Control Chemicals (Anti-Pers)".

There's probably no way of knowing whether the specific tear-gas canisters which were thrown at the protestors were made in the United States. But the fact that tear gas was used against the very protestors our administration claims to support makes it all the more imperative we understand both who at State cleared the sale of the riot control chemicals to Venezuela and why they did so.


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