Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Could be war
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened today to nationalize Colombian companies operating in Venezuela in protest of Colombia's cross-border attack on Marxist guerrillas in Ecuador. Chavez has been meeting with other South American leaders to turn up the heat on Colombia and its president, Alvaro Uribe, who is backed by billions in U.S. aid. Chavez is scheduled to meet with Argentine President Christina Fernandez today and met with Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, yesterday. Mexico and Peru also have criticized Colombia for Saturday's attack. Venezuela and Ecuador broke diplomatic relations with Colombia after the attack, which killed a FARC leader and 20 others. The attack has caused a major diplomatic crisis in the region. Ecuador and Venezuela mobilized troops to their borders with Colombia. "Our policy is peace, but we have to take preventative measures to prevent war," Chavez said, according to the Reuters international news agency. The Organization of American States said Colombia had violated international law. Colombia said it captured laptop computers in Ecuador that prove that Ecuador and Venezuela were actively aiding the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the oldest insurgency group in Latin America, which has been fighting the Colombian government for decades.