Before Santos’ departure, Chavez warned Sunday about alleged plans by former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to weaken relations between the two countries by recycling “old” allegations that FARC is being allowed to operate in Venezuela.
“We do not endorse, nor allow here the presence of any group, however it is described, armed, from any country. This subject of the Colombian guerrillas, if they are here… it’s a topic that affects us,” the Venezuelan president said.
Chavez said that one of the most difficult issues between Venezuela and Colombia is the smuggling of gasoline across their extensive, common border of over 1,200 miles, as well as drug trafficking.
“There are always contentious issues between Colombia and Venezuela, and Santos and I have decided to play them well, up-front, in a clear and frank manner,” Chavez added.
Santos will be in Caracas for one day only but will return later this week to attend a presidential summit marking the birth of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean — a new institution bringing together the region’s 33 countries without the U.S. or Canada.
Chavez, who proposed the new entity, said, “I’ve been preparing myself for the big moment that we are going to live. A new body is going to be born in Caracas, this is historic.”