Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says 24 Sukhoi fighter jets have been delivered to Venezuela — and are ready to defend his country from "imperialist" aggressions.

Chavez claims the U.S. Navy's Fourth Fleet poses a threat to Venezuela, and he's vowing to push forward with a multibillion-dollar arms buildup aimed at dissuading a possible U.S. military strike.

"They're for defensive purposes, we're not going to attack anybody," Chavez said Sunday of the Russian-made jets.

The Fourth Fleet was active during World War II but was dissolved in 1950. The U.S. Navy announced it would re-establish the fleet to direct naval forces in the Caribbean and Latin America.

U.S. officials deny Washington has designs on Venezuela.