Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday that the Colombia’s incoming government will be “respected provided that it respects” Venezuela, and other “free and independent” countries in the region.
The necessary process of integration in Latin America must be based on “respect” between various governments, regardless of the ideology that guides them, Chavez said at a July 5 independence day celebration.
During the celebration, Chavez described Colombia’s 2008 bombardment of a FARC camp on Ecuadorean soil as a “terrible event” that “cannot be tolerated” or repeated.”He who does not respect will not be respected,” Chavez said and accused the U.S. “with its invisible, bony and evil-smelling hand … of always sowing discord and creating conflicts” between nations in the Latin America.
Last Friday Chavez expressed his wish to repair ties with Colombia and asked President-elect Juan Manuel Santos to respect Venezuela and its Bolivarian revolution.
Relations between the neighboring countries have long been tense, but deteriorated further in 2009, when Colombia signed a pact with the U.S., which gives the North American nation access to seven military bases around Colombia. Venezuela views the agreement as a threat to sovereignty in the region.