Colombia’s Vice President-elect Angelino Garzon has praised calls made by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for Colombian guerrillas to “reconsider” their armed strategy.
Speaking to Ecuador’s Radio Quito, Garzon said, “I highly value the statements of President Hugo Chavez when he told Colombian guerrillas their existence did not make sense.”
The incoming vice president recalled a similar appeal made “years ago” by Cuban President Fidel Castro and stressed the importance of finding ways to deactivate the existence of rebel groups throughout Latin America.
Garzon’s remarks refer to the statement made last Friday by the Venezuelan leader that Colombian guerrillas should “reconsider their armed strategy” so as to allow the United States “an excuse” to “penetrate” their nation.
“I believe that Colombian guerrillas should seriously consider calls from some of us, made with all due respect, the world today is not the same world of the ’60s,” the Venezuelan leader said.
“I think there are no conditions in Colombia for them to take power in the foreseeable future, instead they have become the main excuse for imperialism. Colombia is penetrated and from there they attack Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba,” he added.
Garzon’s praise comes amid ongoing hostilities between the two countries, brought to head last week by the Colombian government’s allegations before the Organization of American States (OAS) that Venezuela is harboring over 1,000 FARC and ELN guerrillas. The presentation caused the socialist nation to break all relations with Colombia.
Chavez has consistently stated his belief of U.S involvement in the incident. Prior to that Chavez had called Colombian President Alvaro Uribe a “lap-dog of the U.S Empire,” after he signed an agreement in 2009 allowing U.S. troops access to a series of military bases.
Venezuela’s borders are now on “maximum alert” after Chavez expressed concern that Uribe’s “hatred of Venezuela” would drive him to military action. On Sunday Chavez vowed to suspend oil shipments to North America in case of an attack from its neighbor.
Outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe called an emergency meeting Thursday evening, to evaluate the crisis with Venezuela. Colombia’s incoming leader Juan Manuel Santos has remained tight-lipped about the current crisis.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will meet Thursday to discuss the shattered relations.