Colombian opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba does not hide her admiration for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. “He is a good human being, and a good father, who cares for his two daughters, who are single mothers,” she told Colombia Reports.
This weekend, the Liberal Party’s most visible senator called on leftist communities throughout Latin America to support the controversial Venezuelan leader, who, like Cordoba, on a regular basis clashes with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
The senator agrees with Chavez’s statement that the agreement between Colombia and the United States about the use of seven military bases is a threat to the rest of Latin America. Like Venezuela’s president she thinks that a military intervention of the United States from Colombia to Venezuela is probable.
As a consequence of the agreement between Colombia and the United States, Venezuela and Colombia are going through a deep crisis. Especially since that crisis, Cordoba has felt a lot of hatred because of her political views. The hatred is nothing new, she explains. “I have always been attacked because of my views on abortion, racism and the rights of gays, but it is has gotten stronger and it is directed from the government. The government thinks that the opposition is an obstacle for its work. But now since there’s trouble with Venezuela I am being insulted every day at every hour. They want to associate me with the FARC and with Chavez. But I hardly see him, I have a much closer contact to (Venezuela’s Foreign Minister) Nicolas Maduro.“
Venezuela’s en Colombia’s presidents are frequently compared because of their authoritarian style and their ambition to be re-elected repeatedly. “They both have a lot of strength”, Cordoba says, “and strong leadership, but Chavez leads a humanitarian project. Colombia though is a very backward country in political terms. In spite of all the scandals, Agro Ingreso Seguro, false positives etc, the guy (Uribe) goes on. It is an extreme right-wing project: concentration of land, great support for the financial sector. That’s why the guerrillas have a good excuse to go on.”
Cordoba stresses that Chavez is much more human than Uribe. “He wouldn’t be as indifferent towards the families of the hostages as Uribe is.”
The senator and the relatives of Pablo Emilio Moncayo and Josue Calvo are waiting for the liberation of these two soldiers. Half a year ago the FARC announced Moncayo’s liberation and later they added Calvo. The government however wants the guerrilla to commit to the release of all 24 remaining hostages of Colombia’s army and police at once.
Córdoba: “It completely depends on the government. The FARC have compromised with everything. It is a unilateral liberation. But the President doesn’t want it. He doesn’t feel the pain. He has an attitude of contempt. It is a signal of inhumanity. He is acting as a candidate for the elections of 2010, because he knows that his followers appreciate his position.”
The Liberal senator is convinced that Álvaro Uribe will run for a third term and win the elections. “But we will go on with our proposals for a humanitarian agreement and peace. On December 10 there will be a big launch of the Vote for Peace. We believe the majority of the Colombians are against war. We can force Uribe to start a policy of peace.”