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Chavez: Venezuela To Buy Tanks From China

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Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez attends a military ceremony at Fuerte Tiuna in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (AP photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez attends a military ceremony at Fuerte Tiuna in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (AP photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will buy amphibious tanks from China for its military.

Chavez isn't saying how many of the armored vehicles Venezuela intends to buy, but says the deal signed Tuesday calls for a Chinese company to begin delivering the tanks next year.

He announced the deal in a speech to troops, saying the $500 million cost will be financed through loans that China has offered Venezuela in exchange for oil shipments.

In recent years Chavez has also agreed to billions of dollars in arms deals with Russia, buying fighter jets, helicopters, assault rifles and surface-to-air missiles.

The Venezuelan leader is seeking re-election in an October vote.

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