President Bush has challenged Russia directly by pushing for construction of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic as well as giving Georgia his unqualified support after their failed invasion of South Ossetia. Prime Minister Putin intends to stick it right back to America by working for close relations with nations like Venezuela and Bolivia. Russia is selling planes to Bolivia as a “first step” in building closer relations. Russian Ambassador to Bolivia, Leonid Golubev, made it even clearer by saying, “we want to show up the United States that Latin America is not their backyard. We also have interests in various spheres, including military ones.”
Although modern Russia is capitalist, its leaders are courting socialist governments in Latin America mainly to make clear to Bush if he wants to exert military pressure on their border, then the same can be done to American borders. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who has become America’s number one opponent in Latin America, has purchased about four billion dollars worth of military equipment since 2005 from Russia.