Sunday, March 2, 2008
South America crisis
Ecuador broke diplomatic relations yesterday with Colombia, a key U.S. ally in South America, to protest a cross-border raid by Colombian forces that killed a leftist rebel leader. Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, rejected Colombia's apology, ordered troops to the border and expelled Colombia's top diplomat. "There is no justification," Correa said, according to the Associated Press. On Colombia's western flank, Venezuela's anti-U.S. president, Hugo Chavez, warned against future incursions, moved troops and tanks to the border, and closed its embassy in Bogota, Colombia's capital. Chavez called Colombian President Alvaro Uribe "a criminal" and called his country a "terrorist state." Nice to see Chavez and Correa getting along so well, but the war talk has got to stop. The United States backs Uribe in the long battle against Marxist insurgents, and the Bush administration is not about to abandon him. Colombia has long complained about Ecuador and Venezuela giving sanctuary to FARC guerrillas. Chavez likes to talk, but has no stomach for armed conflict with the United States.