Chavez Orders Tanks to Colombia Border, Raises Risks – Bloomberg.com: Hugo Chavez’s orders to close his Bogota embassy and send tanks to the border raise tensions beyond his previous rhetoric and to the point where miscalculation could trigger a military clash.
Chavez, who ordered 10 armored battalions to the border yesterday, said Colombia’s air strike March 1 on a rebel camp in Ecuadorean territory risks a regional war. He pledged to support Ecuador under any circumstances. The raid killed Raul Reyes, reputed to be second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Chavez, who has a history of verbally attacking the U.S. and its allies, may be trying to stir up nationalist sentiment at a time when he’s faltering politically, said Myles Frechette, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia from 1994 to 1997.
Voters in December rejected Chavez’s plan to rewrite the constitution, his first electoral defeat since taking office, while crime and food shortages are cutting into his popularity.
“This is largely posturing and beating his chest,” Frechette said in a telephone interview. “The economic situation in Venezuela isn’t good.”
Venezuela’s dependence on Colombia’s food exports and the Colombian military’s superior training, make a wide-scale war unlikely, said Liliana Fasciani, a legal philosophy professor at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas.
The professor seems to be forgetting the billions of U.S. dollars that Venezuela has spent over the last 9 years in military hardware, including some top of the line Russian fighters.
“We can’t understand how the actions of our government and our armed forces be interpreted as an act of aggression against Venezuela,” former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria said.
You poor thing… Starting to regret your involvement with the Venezuelan referendum some years ago?
“This is an odd reaction by Venezuela to Colombia’s efforts against the FARC, a terrorist organization that continues to hold Colombians, Americans and others hostage.”, said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
With kuzco anything is odd, and after nine years this is a surprise? By the way, the FARC also holds Venezuelan citizens as hostages, not only Colombian or U.S.