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Putin gives Chavez a puppy

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was excited Thursday to show off his gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin: a 3-month-old black terrier puppy.
Chavez putin 2011 12 09Enlarge
Going in for the bro-hug. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was excited Thursday to show off his gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin: a 3-month-old black terrier puppy.

"He is a good dog and beautiful," Chavez told a Russian delegation at his Venezuelan presidential palace, according to the Associated Press. "I'm going to call him 'Russian.'"

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The gifted puppy's breed is also known as "Stalin's dog," because it was created under the Soviet dictator in the 1950s to guard prisoners, noted news site La Tercera.

Chavez's new best friend was given to him by the Russian leader as the two countries signed trade agreements worth about $20 billion, including a pact that allows state-controlled Russian oil company Rosneft to tap into new Venezuelan oilfields, reported Time.

But Putin hasn't only been the giver in puppy diplomacy; he has also been the receiver. According to Russia's Ria Novosti, the Russian president received a Bulgarian shepherd called Baffi from Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov in 2010. He also received a 3-month-old Akita Inu puppy from a Japanese governor in June. Putin said he would return the favor by sending back "a Siberian cat, a bigger one."

And what did Chavez joke he would offer in return? A Venezuelan capybara, of course, which resembles an oversized guinea pig.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/putin-gives-chavez-puppy

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