Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said Thursday mediation with his
Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe “is not possible” unless Uribe pulls
out of a pending U.S.-Colombian pact that allows an expansion of U.S. military
on Colombian soil.
Chavez met in the venezuelan capital Caracas with former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, who had offered to mediate between the neighboring Heads of State to find a way out of the diplomatic crisis.
However, the Venezuelan President rejected mediation. : There are no mediators here, there is no mediation possible here,” Chavez told Samper. “The only way to resolve this situation … is that Colombia refuses to surrender its territory to the United States so it can continue planning aggression against us.”
The reason Chavez accepted Samper to come to Caracas was because the former President is “one of the Colombian voices Venezuela should hear.”
Venezuela froze all diplomatic ties and threatens to suspend all trade with its neighbor after Colombia accused the Venezuelan army of having supplied Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC with rocket launchers.
The accusation came after Chavez’ objection to the U.S.-Colombian military pact.
Chavez’ closest allies in South America, Bolivia and Ecuador also reject increased U.S. military presence on the continent and want the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, to speak out against it when meeting in the Ecuadorean capital next Saturday.