Monday, July 31, 2006

EADS CASA and its Joint Chavez Aircraft

What a pathetic sight: lobbyists of a NATO ally apparently lying to congressional staff about their company's supply of military aircraft to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

My sources on Capitol Hill say that lobbyists for the European aerospace manufacturer EADS have misled congressional staffers who voiced concern about the company's $600 million sale of CN-235 maritime patrol planes and C-295 military troop transport and cargo planes to Chavez.

The lobbyists have insisted that the sale won't go through, but the Venezuelans insist otherwise, as I report on Venezuelastan.com.

Somebody's lying. And I think it's the lobbyists for EADS and the EADS CASA consortium that manufactures the planes - and is trying to sell the same aircraft to the Pentagon as the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).

Some cyberwags have made the above cartoon of EADS North America CEO Ralph Crosby - one of the lobbyists who's been trying to run away from the Venezuela issue - and Hugo Chavez. They have other satirical artworks on TeamJCA.org.

As before, I think Congress should ban any funding to EADS CASA for its circumvention of US nonproliferation law and its breaking of the US military embargo against the Chavez regime.

Even if the deal falls through, EADS CASA and other foreign military suppliers need to learn a lesson that if they expect to profit from business with the United States, they'd better choose who's side they're on.