The problem blends with the transit of migrants who cross the region in search of the American drea...
Tuesday, Nov. 10
BOGOTA, Colombia – The Colombian government announced that it will appeal to the U.N. Security Council and the Organization of American States (OAS) over “threats” made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
On Nov. 8, Chavez called on all Venezuelans to “prepare for war” in a thinly-veiled warning to Bogota, which recently signed an agreement allowing U.S. forces to use Colombian military bases to combat narcoterrorism.
President Chavez ordered Venezuela’s military to forestall a possible attack from Colombia’s bases by preparing for war.
Calling on his “military comrades” not to lose “a single day in accomplishing our mission,” Chavez, according to ANSA, ordered the army to “prepare for war and help the people to prepare for war.”
Colombian President Álvaro Uribe responded, according to AFP, by rejecting Chavez’s accusations and stating that “Colombia has not made, and will not make, a single warlike gesture to the international community and much less to fellow American nations.” He also repeated that the country’s only interest in signing the cooperation agreement with the U.S. “is to defeat the narcoterrorism that has been battering Colombians for so many years.”
Calling Bogota’s response “immoral,” according to EFE, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry accused the Uribe administration of lying.
Caracas, La Vanguardia recalled, froze relations with its neighbor in July, amid conflict over the U.S.–Colombia agreement and Bogota’s accusations that Chavez had supplied rocket launchers to FARC guerrillas. The months since then have been marked by rising tension on the border as trade between the two countries has collapsed.
Chavez’s opponents told AFP that Chavez’s latest statements are intended to draw attention away from the social problems caused by power outages and water rationing in Caracas. “It’s a smoke screen,” said Roderick Navarro, president of the Federation of University Centers of the Central University of Venezuela.
Chavez’s outburst also upset the Brazilian Senate, which is due to vote this week on Venezuela’s application to join Mercosur. Senator Gim Argello described it as “a factor that may complicate the voting.” For Senator Demostenes Torres of the opposition Democratic Party, it was “further proof that Chavez wants to set the region ablaze.” The Democratic Party, according to EFE, is planning to ask for the vote to be suspended.