The Ecuadorean ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) resigned following pressure from Ecuador’s foreign minister to cancel a special OAS meeting on Colombia’s allegations that Venezuela is harboring the FARC, reports W Radio.
Francisco Proaño, who served as chairman of the OAS permanent council, denied that his resignation was due to pressure from Venezuela, but admitted that Ecuador’s foreign ministry had “instructed” him to prevent the meeting in which Colombia will present evidence of FARC presence in Venezuela.
“I do not think that the Venezuelan government has applied such pressure, I have spoken with representatives of Venezuela and they are very aware that the Permanent Council rules must be obeyed,” Proaño said.
As chairman of the permanent council Proaño had no power to postpone or cancel the special meeting and decided that resignation was the only solution.
“I resigned out of my desire not to violate the rules of the Permanent Council,” Proaño said.
Colombia is set to present a report on the allegations before the OAS on Thursday, and claims to have satellite photos, videos, and intelligence from rebel deserters that proves several FARC commanders are living in Venezuela, including FARC leader “Ivan Marquez.”
Proaño said that the Ecuadorean foreign ministry seeks “a different solution between the brother countries,” and wants the meeting to be postponed.
Ecuador appointed former Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador as Proaño’s replacement.
Venezuela is seeking support from fellow Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) countries against Colombia’s allegations, and plans to send Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Defense Minister Carlos Jose Mata Figueroa to the meeting.
Last week the Colombian government claimed to have recent and indisputable proof that FARC leaders including Ivan Marquez and Rodrigo Granda are hiding out in Venezuela.
According to Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva, a combination of information gathered from demobilized guerrillas and “technical intelligence” positions the FARC commander in Venezuela, close to the Colombian border city of Villa del Rosario.
Farmers from a rural area in Colombia’s Norte de Santander department allege that on Tuesday Venezuelan soldiers crossed the border into Colombia and fired shots into the air.
Colombia has made numerous accusations that Venezuela harbors FARC guerrillas within its borders. The Venezuelan government has always vehemently denied the allegations and maintains Venezuela is not a guerrilla safe haven.