President Chávez warns the Fourth Fleet to steer clear of Venezuelan waters

Latin America and the Caribbean

On Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez warned the United States' Fourth Fleet to steer clear of Venezuelan waters. The U.S. Navy officially reestablished the Fourth Fleet on June 12 of this year. According to a U.S. Southern Command press release, the Fourth Fleet will be headquartered in Mayport, Florida, and "will not involve an increase in forces assigned in Mayport, or result in any permanently assigned ships or aircraft." However, President Chávez has been speaking out against the arrival of the Fourth Fleet in Latin America and the Caribbean since the announcement of its reestablishment. Below is a transcription and translation of the segment of President Chávez's television show, "Aló, Presidente," in which he discussed the Fourth Fleet and Venezuela's newly acquired Russian Sukhoi fighter jets:

The Fourth Fleet. The Fourth Fleet. Incidentally, the Commander of the Fourth Fleet recently said that they were coming to navigate the brown water - the brown water is the water of the rivers. The gringo fleets have various components: deep water fleets, or blue water; green water fleets - that is the coastal water; and the brown water fleets. Well, the Commander of the Fourth Fleet said that they were coming to navigate the brown water. Well, any gringo ship that sails into brown waters will turn brown, because it will sink to the bottom of the brown water. It will not pass through here, it will not pass through here, through here it will not pass. Don't be mistaken by us. ... We are advancing, advancing in this political battle. In this battle for Venezuela against the imperialist threat. The Fourth Fleet. The necessity to strengthen our Armed Forces, to continue strengthening. We are strengthening and they know this, the military, from the highest command, to the middle command and the troops. Well, here's an example: the tank battalion that surrounds us. There are three basic principles for a soldier. Ambassador, you know them. And I, as a tank soldier, will never forget them. First, move, a tank battalion has to move a lot. If it does not move, it is dead. Second, to shoot - fire power, mobility, fire power. And third, communication. The extent of space ... requires permanent communication. Well, if for instance some of our tanks fired, if for instance some moved, they did not communicate. Now, you will see that in the Ayana Battalion, for example, we are repairing the radios and the cannons and updating the ammunition. They're for defensive purposes. We are not going to attack anyone. We already have 24 Sukhoi aircraft. Yesterday, the Commander of the Air Force told me that we have completed the Sukhoi fleet. And now with our pilots and our crews and our missiles. We have already begun test firing the missiles ... and they go all the way to the Caribbean, from here. There is a very long arm now. On the other hand, the F-16s go 15 kilometers, 14 kilometers. This is not very far. And there is a missile that is called 'shoot and forget about it.' It goes alone because it is a computer and the computer has a camera and it can see where it is going. And now, during the last trip to Moscow, in addition to the oil and energy agreements that were made with the large Russian businesses, ... we have also signed a new military cooperation agreement and the missiles have already begun to arrive. I will show them to you later, I will show them to everyone. For one, I will show them to the the Fourth Fleet that wants to pass through here. AHA! Well, and how are they going to get through? How? With the ammunition? Where, where are they going to pass? How will they get through? They are not going to pass. They are not going to pass. So, forget about it. I hope that the next government of the United States, I hope the next government of the United States understands that a revolution is happening in Latin America. Now, thank God and history that it will be a peaceful revolution. Peaceful. But not unarmed. Don't forget it.