In a diplomatic cable sent to Washington on November 9, 2009, then-U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield said that Uribe’s administration was “working themselves into a sweat over the potential military threat from Venezuela.”
Uribe and then-Defense Minister Gabriel Silva felt that comments made by Chavez on November 8, 2009 were “threatening” and requested that the U.S. government immediately analyze Venezuelan movements towards the Colombian government and make a public declaration on Chavez’ “war rhetoric.”
Brownfield hadn’t even been aware of the comments in question but pacified Uribe by telling him he would attempt to accelerate the possible movements of the Venezuelan military and consult Washington on any public response.
The ambassador advised the Colombian president to “ask himself what Chavez wanted him to do, and then do something different.”
Brownfield believed that the Colombian government was strongly overreacting to the Venezuelan President’s words and had “become almost neuralgic over the Venezuelan threat.”
“We do not regard Chavez’ latest blast as a significant increase over what he has already said, and do not necessarily recommend that Washington treat this as a genuine crisis,” Brownfield said in the cable.