President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said his country would be willing to host Russian bases there, the Russian news agency Interfax reported. “Russia has enough resources to secure its presence in different parts of the world. If Russian armed forces would like to be present in Venezuela, they will be welcomed warmly,” Mr. Chávez told reporters on Tuesday, in response to a question about whether Russia could put bases in Venezuela. “We will raise flags, beat drums and sing songs, because our allies will come, with whom we have a common worldview,” said Mr. Chávez, who was in Moscow for talks with President Dmitri A. Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.
According to an article by the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, which cites Reuters: the offer of a "warm welcome" was made in response to a question from a journalist at a press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Both of the Cuban and Venezuelan stories broke just about contemporaneously. In the Chinese press article linked above, President Chavez has denied that the reported offer was made: he said,
Such media reports were absolutely "false," Chavez told a joint press conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates after they met at the Sao Bento Place in the Portuguese capital, their third meeting in less than a year.
Chavez said he was the victim of a "media war" plotted by the West, noting his reported pledge to Russian leaders to allow Russia to establish military bases on Venezuelan territory was a rumor designed to show the world a "provocative Chavez, a violent Chavez."
"But the Venezuelan people only want peace and justice," he said.
It is not clear that Cuba actually made a similar offer, although it was reported that Russia is considering the establishment of military bases in Cuba.
Russia is considering the use of bases in Cuba for its nuclear bombers, in a move that revives memories of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, according to reports in a Russian newspaper.