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US Gives Guatemala $3.2 Million in Military Aid


U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who is in Guatemala, has announced Washington will release $3.2 million in military aid to the Central American country.

Mr. Rumsfeld made the announcement following a meeting Thursday, with President Oscar Berger. The money is intended for various uses, including assisting in training and modernizing Guatemala's armed forces.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's vice president Jose Vicente Rangel has rebuffed comments made by Mr. Rumsfeld in Brazil Wednesday. The secretary said that he does not understand why Venezuela needed to purchase 100,000 AK-47s. Mr. Rumsfeld said they could pose a threat in the region.

The vice president says the U.S. defense secretary's criticisms violate Venezuela's sovereignty and are part of what he called a "systematic" U.S. campaign against President Hugo Chavez's government.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.