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Hugo Chavez puts on show at the border, but we can't be fooled

By Miguel Octavio

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - President Hugo Chavez shows up today at the border region, dressed in military fatigues which is illegal, to the place where the killings took place last week saying “the Armed Forces should be concerned”, saying that “Colombia is being irresponsible” and that he will “strengthen the military component”, “creating training centers” and buying equipment. He also states he is not a friend of the Colombian guerilla group the FARC. Chavez says that his Government will not allow “irregular groups to come into and live in Venezuela, “no matter where they come from”.

The problem is that we have all seen this movie before in 2000 and 2001, when similar incidents took place and Generals who have now been ostracized and even persecuted by Chávez, were making the same charges about the lack of attention to the border region. In these set of documents, General Gonzalez Gonzalez, today a fugitive, writes a memo to the President himself telling him that there are both guerrilla and paramilitary forces in the border region, coca plantations and asking for a battalion to be able to control the area.

Gral. Gonzalez also asks in these documents for establishing two bases for the protection of the border, as well as carrying out operations to clean up the border area. The documents include pictures of the irregular group camps and Chavez with the General himself.

These particular documents are from 2001 and since then, nothing of what was recommended in them has been done. So those charges that have been made that the accusations are false are nothing but a smokescreen to hide the truth, in a country with a very short memory. The truth is that Chavez has had a policy of “live and let live” with the FARC that is now coming back to haunt him trough the death of at least six Venezuelans. So we have seen this movie and the show before, it is all grandstanding, but we don't forget, even if we did not have a blog then.

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