In his weekly column Las Lineas de Chavez, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the U.S. and Colombia of plotting against his country and called allegations of guerrilla presence on Venezuelan soil “irresponsible declarations.”
The Venezuelan head of state wrote that if “the madness continues,” and the Colombian presidential palace continues to follow the “imperial script,” he may be forced into “a possible rupture of relations.”
Chavez also complained of the Obama administration’s “permanent and fallacious ” accusations against Venezuela of involvement of the international drug trade. Chavez stated that “President Obama was proving to be, in words and in deeds, the second Bush administration: he follows the same belligerent line and the same strategy of imperial domination.”
Chavez’s comments mark the latest development in a diplomatic storm between the two South American countries. Chavez reacted to his neighbor’s charges that Venezuela harbors guerrillas by rejecting an invitation to attend the inauguration of Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos.
The Colombian government on Thursday revealed evidence of the exact locations of top FARC and ELN guerrilla commanders, who the government claims are hiding out in camps in Venezuela. Caracas labelled the evidence “a pathetic media show.”
The Venezuelan government has always vehemently denied allegations that guerrillas are hiding on its territory, and maintains that Venezuela is not a guerrilla safe haven.
Venezuela broke diplomatic relations altogether in 2009, after Colombia signed a pact granting the U.S. military access to seven Colombian army bases. Chavez views the pact as an attempt to undermine regional sovereignty.
Chavez’s government stated that they would not consider restoring relations while Uribe remained in office.
Colombian President-elect Santos said he was “very pleased” after Chavez expressed willingness to reopen a dialogue with Colombia and attempt to re-establish severed ties.
Prior to Santos’ election on June 20, Chavez was vocal in his contempt for the former defense minister, whom he called “the number one Yankee lapdog of Colombia” and “a real mafioso.”
Before Colombia announced it had proof of guerrilla presence in Venezuela, Chavez had authorized a meeting between his Foreign Minister Maduro and the incoming Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, as a step towards repairing diplomatic ties.