I usually like to digest news before I write about them and the decision by the Venezuelan Government to suspend all “commercial” relations with our neighboring country is certainly an ongoing event that requires understanding and care, but I am sure people want to know what everyone thinks. So here are some thoughts about it even before the Colombian Government has responded to the decision (Will update post rather than create new ones at least for the next two days):
-First, it is strange to suspend commercial relations rather than diplomatic ones. Is Chavez planning to shut down the border? How do you stop commerce if you don’t do that?
-What can Chavez say, if it was bounty hunters, after all, Uribe announced a $2 million reward on Jan. 1st. for anyone turning in a FARC representative.
–What about the accusation by the Colombian Attorney General of a connection between former Peruvian intelligence Chief Montesinos, also captured in Venezuela and Granda?
-Second, Uribe may be the wrong person to pick a fight with. He did not get to where he is by being a wimp, on the contrary. This leads to two possibilities: Either Chavez is underestimating him, which I doubt, or Chavez simply wants to pick a big fight with Colombia to distract attention to other problems such as:
· Why was Granda living in Venezuela?
· How did he get his Venezuelan nationality?
· How did they take him all the way from Caracas to Colombia without anyone knowing? If the Colombians did it, how can they act with such impunity?
· If Venezuelan military did it, whatever happened to the “unity” of the Bolivarian military?
· Whatever happened to Chavez saying Uribe knows nothing about it?
· Whatever happened to Chacon saying the Colombian Government knows nothing about it?
· All the other problems.
Will Chavez blink first?
Will Uribe blink first?
What do you think? Will Uribe apoglogize? Is this going to escalate? Is that what Chavez wants? Stay tuned!
Friday Night: 8:55 PM Caracas time: Aja! Just as I expected, Colombian President Uribe says his Government acted follwoing the law and without violating Venezuela’s sovereignty. Now what will Chavez do, reiterate or fall back? My guess: He will push forward. By the way, you ahve to love how Uribe says that Granda is a well known terrorist who has massacred the Colombian people and that paying ransom is accepted worldwide in those cases.
11:08 PM Chavez rejects Uribe’s response: Chavez said in nationwide TV address that he found Uribe’s response “surprising” , saying “I have read the communiqué and they practically justify the kidnapping of a Colombian citizen…Colombia is assuming a conduct very similar to the US Government, that bombs and attacks other people…crime can not be fought with crime”