March 2, 2008

Chavez raises the stakes

Katy says: Hugo Chávez is playing a dangerous game with Colombia, and indirectly, with the US. Today he announced that he was shutting down Venezuela's Embassy in Bogotá, unilaterally plunging diplomatic relations to its worst level since the Gran Colombia split in 1830. He also announced a large buildup of troops alongside the border, and insulted Pres. Uribe for the n-th time, calling him a "criminal" and the head of a "narco-government."

The only reason for this is the murder of the FARC's No. 2, Raúl Reyes in what is apparently Ecuadorean territory. Not even Ecuador has reacted this way.

This is serious stuff. Neither Venezuela nor her interests have been attacked, and they are not at risk of being attacked, and yet the President is acting as if they were. No Venezuelan in their right mind should support this unjustified unilateral rush to war.

Let's hope cool heads prevail and that the Colombian government continues to ignore Chávez. If there is a war, the losers will be the Venezuelan people, specially those who live close to the border, whose day-to-day problems once again take the backseat to Chávez's obsession to see the FARC triumph in Colombia.