Intelligence and security cooperation between Colombia and Venezuela stopped four years ago and as a result Colombia runs military operations at the neighboring nations’ common border solo, Colombia’s Commander of the Armed Forces General Freddy Padilla said in an interview with RCN Radio Monday evening.
Padilla said that joint operations ceased because “there is a high rotation of commanders in Venezuela, which does not allow for confidence to be earned between peers.”
The army commander also commented on the FARC, saying that “they don’t have the support of the Colombian people and that is a setback for the FARC, as they are far from ever having the possibility of victory.”
Despite frozen diplomatic ties between the neighboring countries, the Venezuelan government congratulated President-elect Juan Manuel Santos for winning Colombia’s second round presidential election.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had previously been outspoken in his dislike for Santos, calling the former defense minister “a threat to the region.”
Colombia and Venezuela have a history of rocky relations, but frictions worsened after Colombia signed an with the U.S. granting the North American nation increased access to its military bases – a deal that Venezuela views as a threat to the region.
Relations between Uribe and Chavez are particularly caustic. Uribe alleges that Chavez’s government has allowed Colombian rebels to take refuge inside Venezuela. Chavez, who has repeatedly rejected the allegations, complains of the spillover of Colombian’s internal conflict into Venezuelan territory.