Venezuela President Hugo Chavez confirmed Monday that he and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos are “new best friends.”
“He has said that I am his new best friend and today I say the same: President Santos is my new best friend,” Chavez was quoted saying by the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN).
Chavez responded to comments by Santos, who on Sunday called the Venezuelan head of state his “new best friend” and said relations between the two neighboring countries “are on the right track.”
The Venezuelan president, on an official visit to Cuba, agreed with Santos and said that both countries were obliged to come to terms with the other, despite their difference in political ideology.
“As Santos said himself, they will not get us off track, even though operations to do so have begun. The empire [the United States] and its lackeys will not rest from forcing us to fight,” Chavez said.
“The Yankee empire has not lost interest in Latin America; this is the region they call their influence. Because of this we are forced to consolidate unity,” the Venezuelan president explained.
Colombia and Venezuela are in the process of normalizing ties that were cut by Venezuela in July following accusations by the administration of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe that Venezuela was harboring leftist Colombian guerrillas on its soil.