Monday, June 09, 2008

Chavez Out Manoeuvres Critics

Chavez clearly caught a few by surprise with his statement regarding the FARC, particularly given the unsubstantiated allegations against Venezuela by Colombia:

Colombia's defence minister has welcomed a call by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for Farc rebels to end their four-decade struggle.

Mr Chavez, whom Colombia has accused of financing Farc, had earlier said the group was "out of step" and called on them to release all their hostages.

He urged Alfonso Cano, Farc's new leader, to "let all these people go".

Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the comments as long as they were "translated into action".

"Our fundamental strategic objective is that our neighbours collaborate in the fight against terrorism," said Mr Santos.

He said the move meant that Colombia and Venezuela would be able to renew their ties, to the benefit of both nations.

Perhaps Chavez might use this opportunity to have greater influence on Colombian politics. Certainly, any perceived support for the FARC would have impeded the development of a political leader sympathertic to Chavez in Colombia. Perhaps this is not the best news for Uribe.