Venezuela’s Chavez welcomes Russian warships (AP)

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gestures during a news conference with foreign media members at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Monday, Nov. 24, 2008. Chavez's allies won a majority in Venezuela's Sunday local elections, but the opposition made important gains, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and two of the most populous states. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)AP – Russian warships sailed into port in Venezuela on Tuesday in a show of strength as Moscow seeks to counter U.S. influence in Latin America. Russia’s first such deployment in the Caribbean since the Cold War is timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Venezuela, the first ever by a Russian president.

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