Posted by: Nick Poma | March 6, 2008

Venezuela Cuts Trade Ties with Colombia

Venezuela Troops

            President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela announced in a speech that his country is blocking trade with Colombia. This action follows a border incursion by Colombian troops to attack FARC rebels hiding in the forest of Ecuador. Among those killed in the Colombian action was a leader of the FARC, Raul Reyes. Both Venezuela and Ecuador have started massing troops on the border of Colombia, in response to what they have said equates to a war crime. President Chavez has made the largest move in response by moving ten tank battalions to the border of Colombia.


Chavez has promised that he will cause an economic crisis in both countries by suspending trade with the Colombians. Venezuela depends on Colombia for imports and their chief dependency is food. Venezuelan officials claim that they will be able to find an alternative source for food within a short amount of time, though they may suffer in the interim. The trade between Colombia and Venezuela amounts to billions of dollars and this is certainly something that will affect both the Colombians and the people of Venezuela.


However, Americans must ask themselves if they will be ultimately responsible for covering the Colombian deficit due to its close ties to the United States. Nevertheless, Colombia finds itself in a very dangerous situation where they share a common border with both Ecuador and Venezuela. Venezuela and Ecuador have had strained relations due to leftist rebels finding sanctuary in the two respective countries. However, more than that, Ecuador and Venezuela perceive Colombia to be nothing more than a staging ground for use by the United States.


            Both Ecuador and Venezuela are seeking condemnation of the Colombian actions from the International community. The OAS (The Organization of American States) stated that Colombia’s actions were a violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty, but they stopped short of outright condemning the Colombian incursion. This has not satisfied Presidents Chavez and Correa, and they have stated that there will be no end to this crisis until there is a full condemnation of Colombia’s actions. Several world leaders have expressed their wishes that this crisis will end peacefully, but they are sure that there will be no immediate resolution.



Associated Press

Thursday, March 6, 2008 PhotoJuan Carlos Hernandez — AP Photo


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