Chavez threatens war if new Colombian Presidential candidate is elected

Discussion in 'Americas' started by A.V., Apr 26, 2010.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    CARACAS : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who for years has had tense relations with neighbouring Colombia, has warned of worse ties and even possible military hostilities if Bogota's ex-defence chief Juan Manuel Santos wins the presidency.

    A victory by Santos in the May 30 presidential election "could lead to war" in the region, said Chavez on his "Hello Mr. President" weekly television and radio broadcast.

    The firebrand leftist leader also demanded that the conservative candidate, a close political ally of current president Alvaro Uribe, issue an apology for a Colombian military attack during his tenure as defence minister on a leftist guerrilla encampment on Colombia's border with Ecuador two years ago.

    "If he wants to be president, he should start by saying 'I'm sorry,' and ask forgiveness" for the bombing raid," Chavez said.

    For his part, Santos -- whose family owns the El Tiempo daily, Colombia's most influential newspaper -- told AFP in an interview Sunday that Chavez should butt out of Colombia's election campaign.

    "What the Colombian people do not accept is interference in their elections," he said.

    He added that he and Chavez "think very differently but we each have one obligation vis a vis our people. And that is to respect our differences."

    Under Colombian law, Uribe, who already has served two terms, cannot stand for reelection.

    His would-be successor Santos is accused by Ecuador and Venezuela of having carried out a March 2008 air raid on the clandestine militant encampment that killed the number two official of the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Raul Reyes.

    Meanwhile, a court in Ecuador was to issue a ruling on Monday as to whether it will allow justice authorities to act on an arrest warrant that has been issued against Santos in connection with that bombing raid.

    During a campaign debate last week, the former defense minister expressed "pride in having defended the sovereignty and security of Colombians," including the controversial bombing.

    Colombia is the top regional ally of the United States in the fight against drug-trafficking, and attempts to contain the influence of the leftist-populist Chavez.

    With respect to the US use of Colombia's military bases for anti-narcotics operations -- a deal that was met with fierce opposition by leftist governments throughout Latin America, including Venezuela -- Santos on Sunday reiterated the current government's line that there is nothing to fear from the agreement.

    "Read the accord and you will see that there is nothing that would give you or anyone else reason to fear... that Colombian territory will be used for an act of aggression," Santos said in a message rhetorically directed at Chavez.


    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1052569/1/.html
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Chavez is the biggest joker in the pack in the Latin American hemisphere. He should concentrate on getting his country out of the mess that he has created by nationalizing the oil industry. Today his Govt. does not have the money even for the upkeep of the existing oil wells. It is just that the High Oil prices are propping the economy of Venezuela.
     
  4. VersusAllOdds

    VersusAllOdds Regular Member

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    There are quite a few countries that live off the high oil prices right now, and Venezuela is just one among them. Nationalizing Venezuelan oil industry might've been a wrong move if you look at the next few years, but I think it's a very bold and right thing to do on the long run. Decolonization of Latin America will eventually pay for the Latin Americans, I hope.

    This is a battle for US influence in Latin America. US had many lackeys there over the decades, I believe that the Carlos guy is just one in the line. Chavez wants to battle their influence, and it amazes me that he's still alive and in power. Only Castro managed that for now.
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    One point that comes from the above news item is that Chavez is upset with Colombian Govt for attacking a known Terrorist organisation which has been using the drug trade to finance their organisation. Wonder what is the angle Chavez is pushing by supproting a known Terrorist Organisation.
     
  6. VersusAllOdds

    VersusAllOdds Regular Member

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    You're probably speaking of FARC. They're a guerilla army fighting against US influence. Yes, they're violent, and do a lot of drug trafficing, but I'm sure the other side does that as well. Actually, when you look at the history of Latin American conflicts, you see that it was the US supported governments that were more violent than "terrorist" guerillas they were fighting.
    There are no good or bad guys. Whatever may be going on all over there, it's two sides fighting for power. One may be just a bit more righteous than the other, but they're both violent, greedy, abuse drug trade and eventually it's the common people that suffer.
     

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