Colombia’s former defense minister and current front-runner presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos is a “threat to the region,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told a summit of left-wing Latin American leaders on Monday.
“He is a threat to all of us” and a menace to stability in the region, Chavez said at the ALBA meeting in Caracas.
Venezuela’s socialist leader cited Santos’ record as defense minister to support his claim that Colombia under Santos would be a threat to the region.
Chavez and Santos have regularly fallen out over Venezuela’s alleged support for Colombian left-wing guerrillas and a Colombian attack on FARC guerrillas in Ecuador under Santos’ command.
“These people feel they have the support of the Yankees,” Chavez said, also quoting recent comments by Santos about the need to keep “terrorists” at bay.
Santos is currently leading polls in Colombia to replace his former boss, President Alvaro Uribe, in August. Chavez has called Colombia’s former defense minister a threat to the region on previous occasions before Santos’ announcement to run for the 2010-2014 presidency.