Venezuela President Hugo Chavez Thursday ignored the request of his
Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe to help catch the FARC guerrillas
that killed eight Colombian soldiers and then allegedly fled to
Venezuela. Chavez said he does not want to get involved in the Colombian conflict.
The words of Chavez — speaking to the Venezuelan people in a televized speech — contradict earlier statements by his Foreign Minister, who had said “it is our policy” to help catch the guerrillas who allegedly found refuge on Venezuelan soil.
Chavez, on the contrary, said that he had been “very clear with President Uribe and with Colombia: we do not support the Colombian guerrillas (…) but it is also not our war, it is Colombia’s war.”
“We will not interfere in that war. And there is no point in any kind of pressure. This is what President Uribe knows and what Colombia knows very well,” Chavez added.
According to the Venezuelan Head of State, Uribe and his Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez had been trying to call him Thursday, but that he had been too busy to talk to them.
Chavez said he had discussed the Colombian conflict with U.S. President Barack Obama for a few minutes on the sideline of the recently held Americas summit. “Let’s fight. I am willing to work with you, I told him, but not for war, for peace in the world, in Colombia, in Venezuela, in the United States and in all parts,” the Venezuelan President said.
According to a U.S. report on terrorism, handed to Obama on Thursday, it is Chavez’ ideology and sympathy for the Colombian guerrilla groups FARC and ELN that “limit the cooperation of Venezuela with Colombia in the fight against terrorism.”
According to the report, Venezuela does not protects its borders enough to prevent illegal armed groups, weapons or drugs to enter its territory.