Uruguayan President Tabare Vasquez expressed his “dislike” but says to “respect” Colombia’s plan to allow the
United States to use Colombian military bases for counter-narcotics
operations. Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva “respects” the pact as long as it does not affect other countries.
Uruguay does not “intervene in internal affairs of other states” but is “traditionally against any foreign military presence in Latin America,” Vasquez told Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Vasquez “called once again for the peaceful settlement of disputes between the States,” referring to Venezuelan’s freezing of diplomatic relations with Colombia as a protest against the U.S. agreement.
After the meeting with Vasquez, Uribe traveled to Brazil to talk to Brazilian President Lula da Silva.
“We reiterate that the agreement is a matter of Colombian
sovereignty provided it is limited to the Colombian territory,”
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told the press after the
meeting of Uribe and Lula da Silva.
interpret [Uribe’s decision to explain the agreement] as a positive
gesture,” Amorium said. The dialogue between Bogota and Brasilia “will
continue” as there will be other talks between Colombia and the United
States about the U.S. military presence in Colombia, Amorium noted.
The Colombian President is currently traveling through South America to explain the U.S. military agreement. He already visited Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile and visits Paraguay and Brazil after Uruguay.
The plan to allow the U.S. use seven Colombian army bases was received with criticism in South America. Leftist governments like that of Venezuela and Ecuador rejected the idea, but also moderate governments like that of Brazil and Chile expressed their concern.
UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, will discuss the Colombian-U.S. plan in Quito Saturday. Colombia refuses to be present in the Ecuadorean capital to explain the agreement and instead started a diplomatic offensive to prevent isolation on the continent.