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Chavez blames the recent tensions between Colombia and Venezuela on the US

By Alexandra Beech |

Jan 16 – In a cryptic statement delivered on state television on Sunday, President Hugo Chavez implied that the recent tensions between Colombia and Venezuela were “planned and executed” by the United States. “We have to be armed with patience,” Chavez said, “to prevent that this event, which is a product, I have no doubt, I repeat, of the conspiracy of hegemonic factors...of factors which oppose integration, which have planned and have executed...and then they encourage, I have no doubt, that that is how it is. We must be up to the stature of the sincere aspirations which rise out of the souls of our peoples – Colombian and Venezuelan, to seek a way out of this situation.”

In past tirades, Chavez has characterized the United States as “hegemonic” and “imperialist”. During a recent Al Jazeera interview, he also described the US government actions in Afghanistan and Iraq as “terrorism”.

The recent comments allude to the capture and arrest by the Colombian government of high ranking FARC leader Rodrigo Granda, who was visiting Venezuela. Granda, who was discovered with a Venezuelan nationality (and whose name quickly disappeared from the electoral registry) had earlier attended an international Bolivarian forum.

The Chavez government was quick to denounce the capture, for which the Colombian government paid a ransom, as a “kidnapping.” The Colombian government responded by reminding the Venezuelan government that the United Nations forbids its member nations from aiding and abetting terrorists, either “actively or passively.” In addition, a Colombian spokesman said that paying a ransom for the capture of terrorists is an internationally accepted practice.

Alternative online media, including sites financed by the government, have echoed the cry of the Venezuelan government that Granda’s capture was a “kidnapping”, as if Mr. Granda were interrupted while vacationing with family.

However, before lamenting the fate of poor Mr. Kidnapped, as the Chavez government has characterized him, let me refresh your memory of how the FARC makes a living, besides selling narcotics. The FARC makes a killing (no pun intended) by kidnapping thousands of innocent victims every year, both in Colombia and Venezuela; Mr. Chavez does not seem to have too much of a problem with that type of crime. Rather than lamenting the fate of Mr. Granda, the alternative media would best be served by listening to Colombian community radio near the borders, where desperate families try to send messages to their kidnapped loved ones, in the hope that they are alive and listening.

However, the FARC doesn’t stop at kidnapping. The FARC is not the hand-holding bunch once given a Switzerland-sized piece of land during “peace” negotiations. The FARC blows people up. Like the IRA, ETA, Hammas, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, the FARC blows up places where innocent people congregate. Who can forget the bloodbath at a Bogota nightclub? How many have died in their unrelenting quest to murder President Uribe?

Shame on US and Latin American officials for not denouncing President Chavez’s enraged reaction to President Uribe. Shame on US officials for allowing Chavez to heap the responsibility of his criminal actions on the United States, creating more anti-US sentiment in the continent. (His followers understand his cryptic messages all too well.)

Kudos to Uribe for being the only president in the Western Hemisphere poised to take real action against the threat which is pervading in South America. Any other president would have applauded the arrest of a terrorist, offering an apology for the nationalized presence of that individual in his or her country. Another president would have offered further help in capturing those terrorists who terrorize Colombian and Venezuelan citizens every single day.

Only a few months ago, President Chavez traveled to Tripoli to receive the Muammar Ghaddafi Human Rights Award, presented by Muammar Ghadafi himself. That may be the highest honor the Venezuelan president deserves.

P.S. Please be aware that at least two prominent local Venezuelan bloggers have now received threats. Since there is no law and order in Venezuela for opposition activists, it is important to continue reading and supporting those brave souls who risks their lives to provide information in a quick and efficient manner. Please read and recommend:

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