Colombia asked the U.S. for a “continued intelligence exchange on Venezuela” in 2008, diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks revealed Friday.
In a leaked cable, sent by then-Ambassador to Bogota William Brownfield on April 14, 2008, then-armed forces commander Freddy Padilla asked the ambassador for intelligence on Venezuela, a month after Colombia had attacked a FARC camp in Ecuador and military tensions with its neighbors were high.
Padilla said that from a military perspective, he was satisfied with the way
the recent border dust up with Venezuela and Ecuador played out. The
Colombian military saw that the Venezuelan Armed Forces were considerably
weaker than they had believed. In contrast, the Ecuadorian military showed
it was a much more professional, if smaller, force than its Venezuelan
counterparts. Padilla acknowledged that the Colombian military needed to
reestablish its bilateral relations with the Ecuadorians, but said this
would take time. He again asked for continued intelligence exchange on
Venezuela, and also sought any additional intelligence the USG could provide
on Ecuador. The Ambassador committed to looking into the matter, but
reminded Padilla both countries benefited by keeping the intelligence
relationship quiet. Padilla agreed.
According to the same cable, Brownfield and Padilla discussed the establishment of a U.S. military facility at Palanquero, which was part of a military pact between Colombia and the U.S. a year and half later and caused friction with its neighbors. The pact was later turned down by Colombia’s Constitutional Court.
The cable is one of a total of 2,416 diplomatic cables sent to or from Bogota that were leaked to the whitleblower website.