Former Cuban President Fidel Castro on Monday dismissed the possibility of a Colombian attack on Venezuela, and said he felt positive about Colombia’s future under the leadership of newly sworn-in President Juan Manuel Santos.
“There is not even the remotest possibility that Colombia will attack Venezuela. Firstly, because it is not in its interests, secondly because it can’t, thirdly because it doesn’t want to and fourthly because it knows that the consequences would be disastrous,” he declared.
Castro also commented on Santos, who was inaugurated on Saturday.
“I don’t have any criticism of the new president of Colombia. I listened to the inauguration speech, in full, word for word. It lasted one hour and ten minutes. I saw him there with his family and his kids. I like the future that awaits Colombia,” the 83-year-old stated in an interview in Havana, broadcast by Venezuelan state television station Telesur.
After falling ill in 2006, Castro temporarily handed the presidency of Cuba to his brother Raul, and the arrangement was made permanent in February 2008. Fidel retains the roles of first secretary of the governing Communist Party and deputy in the Cuban national assembly.
Venezuela has expressed concerns that the U.S. will invade via Colombia. The socialist nation suspended ties with Colombia in 2009 after Colombia signed a military agreement granting access to seven Colombian military bases. Chavez claims the pact undermines regional sovereignty.
Colombia-Venezuela relations deteriorated further in late July after Colombia alleged that Venezuela was harboring left-wing guerrillas. The allegations led Chavez to break ties with Colombia. Chavez will meet with Santos Tuesday in a bid to restore severed ties.