While Kim Jong-Il was launching missiles, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was celebrating Independence Day in his own way:

President Hugo Chavez marked Venezuela’s independence day on Wednesday, showing off Russian fighter jets his government is planning to buy and new helicopters and rifles it purchased after Washington blocked U.S. arms sales to Caracas . . .

“The U.S. government has sabotaged us, failing to meet contracts and agreements, delaying or not sending parts for U.S.-made aircraft,” Chavez said. “See now how our air force is recovering operations, especially with these Sukhoi, the most powerful combat jets in the world.” . . .

Chavez often accuses the White House of preparing to invade his oil exporting country and has ordered troops and civilian reserves to train for a resistance war. U.S. officials say that is merely saber-rattling before elections in December.

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