Russian General Anatoly Zhikharev spoke to reporters in
Reuters report is here, AFP’s here. My discussion of this issue from last summer is here.
Update: The Herald’s blog Cuban Colada notes two stories. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez saying he did not offer basing rights to Russia, but that he “told President [Dmitri] Medvedev that whenever Russian strategic aircraft need to touch down in Venezuela to fulfill their strategic plans, Venezuela is at their service, as we were not long ago.” And a Russian political analyst says the military’s statements are “a kind of warning” of what
Meantime, AFP reports that the Pentagon is brushing the whole thing off: “That would be quite a long way for those old planes to fly,” a Pentagon spokesman said. And another official said the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “is not overly concerned about other nations trying to forge bilateral relations with other partners and friends.”