Colombia-Venezuela: Diplomatic Relations Severed after Puzzling Gambit by President Alvaro Uribe

By Gaudin, Andres | NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, August 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Colombia-Venezuela: Diplomatic Relations Severed after Puzzling Gambit by President Alvaro Uribe


Gaudin, Andres, NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs


On July 22, two weeks before President-elect Jose Manuel Santos was to be sworn in, Venezuela announced it was breaking diplomatic relations with its neighbor (economic ties had been frozen since 2009). The decision came after outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's administration denounced at a special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) the alleged presence of Colombian guerrilla groups in Venezuelan territory with the backing of the Venezuelan government. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez responded, saying that, "out of dignity, and with much sadness," his administration "had no other choice" but to make a predictable decision that only confirmed what had seemed inevitable for more than a week.

Brandishing documents that failed to convince most of those present, Colombia's Ambassador to the OAS Luis Alfonso Hoyos asserted that 1,500 guerrillas had set up camps in Venezuela, and he proposed creating a commission to inspect "the 39 sites" where they were. Hoyos said, "If Venezuela says that this is an invention, it should not fear our going to those sites."

His Venezuelan counterpart, Roy Chaderton, rejected the accusations and asked, "Why doesn't a delegation of many ambassadors visit the US military bases in Colombia?"

Thus began the final phase of a conflict that Uribe and Chavez never stop fueling.

Evidence fails to convince OAS

Hoyos showed maps, photographs, and video clips allegedly taken in camps in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, 23 km inside the border. Not only countries expressly friendly toward Venezuela (Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua) but also the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, Surinam, and Uruguay said they were not satisfied with the "evidence" offered by Colombia.

Adam Isacson, senior associate for regional security at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), told the Argentine daily Clarin that no one rules out that the photographs and satellite maps Colombia presented were "made in the USA." Isacson said, "Colombia does not have planes flying over Venezuelan territory or satellites capable of capturing those images. Therefore, where did they come from? They are a product of US intelligence."

An analyst quoted by the Italian news agency ANSA said, "Seldom has something as frivolous as what Colombia presented been seen in the OAS."

It was a defeat for the Uribe administration because, at OAS headquarters, and despite the stated US support, it was unable to convince the organization to come out against Venezuela and accept the validity of the evidence presented.

It was a victory for Venezuela because, with the authority of the OAS discredited, the issue moved to the Union de Naciones Sudamericanas (UNASUR), an organization in which Venezuela's friends play a prominent role and to which the US does not belong.

The situation allowed the Venezuelan president to assert that Uribe leaves his country "in the hands of the Yankees, which could mean that he could attempt some action, in the last days of his administration, that would lead to a war, which Venezuela would have to enter crying, but it would have to go. Uribe is responsible, sick with hate, a tool of Yankee imperialism who ends his term in office isolated on the continent, marching alone toward the trash heap of history."

Despite his hard-line posturing, Chavez left open the possibility of resuming relations with the future Santos administration. "We are open to a rapprochement," he said.

Days later, Chavez addressed Santos directly, inviting him to re-establish ties between the two countries as soon as "the great disruptive factor, the Uribe factor" disappears.

Chavez also addressed the guerrillas, whom he called on to demobilize "because these are not the times to win power through armed struggle."

Long history of animosity between presidents

Relations between the two countries have been minimal since March 2008, when the Colombian Army violated Ecuadoran sovereignty and bombed a clandestine camp of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), 30 km inside Ecuador, killing at least two dozen people, including a top FARC leader and four Mexican students(NotiSur, 2008-03-07. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Colombia-Venezuela: Diplomatic Relations Severed after Puzzling Gambit by President Alvaro Uribe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.