Appointment Book

About Potatoes
Military agreement ‘Brazil – United States’

‘Colombia-Venezuela’: the smart move of Uribe

‘Colombia-Venezuela’: the smart move of Uribe

Marcelo Rech

On August 22, Colombia presented in the Organization of the American States (OAS), full documentation denouncing the presence, in Venezuelan territory, of 1,500 guerrillas and 87 camps of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and of the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Hugo Chávez reacted by breaking up the diplomatic relations with the neighbor country.

For many Colombian and foreign analysts, including Brazilians, Álvaro Uribe poured the denunciations days before leaving the presidency with the intention of creating problems for his successor, Juan Manuel Santos, who is his former Minister of the Defense.

Sad with a series of nominations in the further government, Uribe would have used the moment in which Santos was giving signs of a possible rapprochement with Venezuela, to ruin once for all the relations with Venezuela.

But it isn´t quite so.

The denunciations don´t bring new facts.

One way or another, the guerrilla presence in Venezuela was always suspected.

Leaders of the Farc, like Rodrigo Granda and Iván Márquez, met already with Chávez in the Palace of Miraflores.

The denunciations, in fact, help the new Colombian president, who was inaugurated this Saturday, 7.

In the last five years, Álvaro Uribe had a series of problems with Chávez. His gesture released Saints of doing it.

The new president could then begin his management calling Hugo Chávez for the understanding.

Juan Manuel Santos was the Minister of the Defense of Colombia when Uribe authorized the bombing in Angostura, Ecuador, killing more than 20 guerrillas of the Farc, among then, Raúl Reyes, who was the Number Two in charge in the organization.

There is a process, in the Ecuadorian Justice, against Santos and the soldiers who participated of the Operation.

It was even speculated that an arresting order, against the new president of Colombia, would be issued in Ecuador.

Santos not only had the knowledge of the denunciations that were led to the OAS but also wasn´t opposed to them becoming public.

The denunciation places Hugo Chávez in a very hard position.

Trapped, the president of Venezuela is obliged to talk to the Farc, whom he advised to leave the armed combat and freeing the sequestrated ones.

This Tuesday, in the first vis-a-vis meeting with the Colombian president, Chávez gave guarantees that the guerrilla presence won´t be tolerated in his country.

Though the evidences are very clear, he will have to make an effort so that the Farc and the ELN leave Venezuela as they are doing in Ecuador.

Santo is the one who gives rules in this moment.

Besides, while looking for the understanding, he inhibits the possibility of Chávez to use Colombia as a “smokescreen” to deal with the internal problems, which are each day more serious.

It is early to evaluate the future of the relations between Colombia and Venezuela, principally because the themes that produced the most serious tensions – use of Colombian military bases by North American soldiers and the guerrilla presence in Venezuela – weren´t discussed.

Tactically, the presidents chose to leave these issues in the past to start from scratch.

Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies & Policies of Defense and Terrorism & Counter-Insurgency. E-mail:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *