In a diplomatic cable sent to Washington on November 16, 2006 the then U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William B. Wood wrote that Uribe “authorizes clandestine cross border operations against the FARC as appropriate, while trying to avoid a repeat of the crisis generated by the capture of FARC official Rodrigo Granda in Caracas in 2003.”
Colombian forces claimed they arrested guerrilla Rodrigo Granda on Colombian territory, in the border town of Cucuta, but Venezuela later ordered an investigation into FARC claims that Granda was in fact seized in Caracas and then transported over the border.
According to the cable, Uribe saw Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ polarizing, anti-U.S. attitude as a “serious problem” but chose to “manage Chavez as opposed to confront him” due to security concerns and the countries’ economic ties.
Uribe’s advisor Jose Obdulio Gaviria reportedly described Colombia’s use of diplomacy to protect national security to the U.S. ambassador by saying, “We are the perfect hypocrites.”
The president was motivated by trying to keep Chavez from interfering in his “democratic security” plan, which aimed to make Colombia safer, according to the cable
The Colombian authorities claimed that Colombia’s guerrilla groups regularly operated in Venezuela, and that some ELN officials lived openly in Caracas. However, Colombia’s government welcomed Venezuela’s “facilitation” of peace talks with the ELN because it was “better to have Chavez inside the process than outside causing problems.”
A cable released by WikiLeaks in December 2010 says that Uribe told a U.S. navy admiral that he would allow troops to enter Venezuela to capture FARC guerrillas.