There is an ominous development going on which the general media seem unaware of. Just at the time when the Soviet Union is supplying arms for revolution to Central America through Cuba, news comes that the Soviets are landing spaceships on Venus in relatively large numbers.
Back in December of 1978, two Russian spacecraft landed there within a short time of each other. Now there are two more. According to the official Soviet Tass news agency they are unmanned.
There may be no need for alarm in all this, but it behooves the United States to look at this situation calmly and objectively. What, for instance, does Venus have in the way of strategic position? At best it is a vapor-shrouded planet with a bad, gassy climate and would be a thoroughly unpleasant outpost, even for Russians, who are used to these conditions.
However, it has been well pointed out that this planet is close to the sun, which is a main source of heat and light, not only for the US but the entire free world. This heat and light source would be, for many, the only feasible alternate to the Russian gas line from Siberia.
All this is happening at the very moment nuclear power plants all over the US are blowing out valves and tubes and leaking some kind of tainted hydrogen all over the place. If anything points to the need of continued solar energy, this does.
The Reagan administration, regardless of its eagerness to balance the budget, is going to have to adopt some sort of foreign policy to deal with this new Soviet maneuvering. It is hoped that this could be done without too many congressional hearings and too much panic in the press. One possible response would be for the free world jointly to approach Venus in a friendly and cooperative manner. Certainly we should make the average Venusian see that an association with the free and democratic US is more beneficial and attractive to him than the dour, one-party mentality of Russia.
One word of caution: it may turn out that if there is any sensible life on Venus, it may be even more dour and depressed than that in Moscow. The creatures may have lived on hot asphalt for so long (being close to the sun) that Siberian tundra sounds like the Garden of Eden.