Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Tuesday warned Colombia against any repeat of the 2008 raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador, saying that his country’s military is “prepared” for such an attack.
Correa’s warning came in response to a statement by Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos, who said in a televised debate on Sunday that he was “proud” of his decision to authorize the attack, which led to the death of FARC leader Raul Reyes, and that he has “left open the possibility of a repeat attack.”
The Ecuadorean president responded angrily to the Colombian politician’s claims, expressing “a deep sorrow for those who play the little emperor and who want to convert Latin America into the new Middle East.”
He explained that the 2008 raid came at a time when the country was not in a position to respond with military action, “our radars did not work, our aviation practically did not exist, we had no communication.”
“But next time,” warned Correa, “they will find us a lot more prepared, we will know how to defend ourselves.”
Describing Santos’ statement as a “barbarity,” the Ecuadorean president said that “with this type of person in government and seven North American [military] bases in Colombia, imagine the danger in the region.”
“Next time if we are bombarded we will have to respond, we are a peaceful country but we are not stupid, we have our dignity,” Correa said.
Former defense minister Santos responded by accusing Chavez of trying to “interfere in the Colombian elections.”
Santos and the Venezuelan president have clashed on numerous occasions over Colombia’s March 2008 attack on a FARC camp in Ecuador, and Chavez’s alleged support for the guerrilla movement.