LATIN AMERICA: Venezuela VS Colombia

July 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm 3 comments

Chavez Sharpens Knife to Remove Own Nose

Colombian troops training in Peru NOT attacking in Venezuela. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Ammon W. Carter, USMC)

Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, has upped the ante in his war of words with leaders in Colombia. Last week, Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with his neighbor to the West when outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of providing a safe haven for Colombian rebels to launch attacks across the border.

Chavez, who has quarreled often with U.S. policy – especially during the Bush administration – is now threatening to cut off oil exports to the U.S. if Colombia launches an attack on Venezuela. He told a rally (July 25) that he would halt the oil – if there’s an American-backed attack on Venezuelan soil – even if it means his citizens have to “eat stones.”

While Venezuela is the fifth largest supplier of petroleum to the U.S., the U.S. is also Venezuela’s biggest customer, according to analysts, so Chavez’s strategy sounds a lot like cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. About 50 percent of Venezuelan government revenue come from oil exports. Analysts also believe Chavez’s sabre-rattling is trying to divert Venezuelans’ attention away from the country’s poorly-performing economy.

The U.S. has denied any plans to support a strike Venezuela or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC is their acronym in Spanish). The rebel group has been waging a 30-year insurgency against the government in Bogota, Colombia’s capital.

Chavez is incensed that Uribe has broadcast videos showing purported rebel camps inside Venezuelan territory. He’s also worried because Uribe’s successor, President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, launched an attack on an FARC base in Ecuador when he was Colombia’s defense minister.

Chavez has also railed against Colombia for allowing the U.S. military access to some Colombian bases and the nearby Dutch-administered island of Curacao’s for accommodating U.S. drug trafficking surveillance flights.

Entry filed under: Latin America, National Security and Defense, News Developments. Tags: , , , , , .


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. paolo  |  August 8, 2010 at 12:21 am

    compliment for the poor propaganda pro USA.

    Facts are very far from what you try to tell to ignorants every day.

    USA lobbies, before or later you will pay your bill for the atrocity and dominance all over the world. You cannot hide all this for ever, and many people already understood where is the truth of facts.

    Killers. go away from other lands! and stop to take oil and minerals and lands from other countries! stay at your home! is it clear ?!

    Paolo from Italy.

    • 2. John Doyle  |  August 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Paolo, Thanks for your comment. One point I’d like to offer. No one is forcing Venezuela to sell its oil to the U.S. If Mr. Chavez does cut off imports, it will hurt the U.S. but not as much as it will hurt Venezuela’s economy.
      When you use your country’s resources as a geo-political weapon, you often wind up hurting your own citizens — as Jimmy Carter found out with his grain export ban following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

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July 2010


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