“A fundamental theme to [Colombian] diplomacy is for other countries to dedicate themselves to not allowing Colombian terrorists in their borders,” Uribe said at a public event.
Uribe also expressed his frustration that Tuesday’s FARC guerrilla attack on the Atlantic coastal region of Colombia was orchestrated from abroad. “For us, it is very difficult that Colombian terrorists are hiding abroad and from there, send these bandits to retake the Montes de Maria [region] for the FARC.”
The Colombian president also elaborated on his previous comments that, following the FARC attack and subsequent battle with the Colombian Army, which left 12 guerrillas dead and six captured, the location of FARC commander “Ivan Marquez” is now known.
According to Uribe, “Ivan Marquez” is now confirmed to be living abroad. Without specifying which country he is in, Uribe continued by calling on Venezuela to do more to fight terrorism.
Uribe, who has consistently criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for not doing enough to help Colombia fight narco-traffickers and leftist guerrillas hiding in Venezuela, said that they need real solutions, “not cosmetics,” in order to improve its relationship with their neighboring Andean country.
Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, who will replace Uribe in office on August 7, has expressed a willingness to work with Chavez to improve ties between the countries, saying that it would be “great news” if Chavez could attend his inauguration.
On Tuesday, Venezuela’s ambassador to Bogota said that Chavez is willing to reopen dialogue with Colombia, to re-establish relations between the two countries, and offer assistance to Santos.
Colombian diplomatic and economic relations with Venezuelan have been virtually frozen since 2009, when Bogota signed a pact with the U.S. allowing their troops access to seven military bases around the country. Venezuela viewed the agreement as a threat to sovereignty in the region, but has shown some signs of wishing to repair relations with incoming administration.