Monday, March 3, 2008

South America on the brink of war?

“Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast!” - Ron Burgundy

A bunch of Columbian soldiers were chasing FARC rebels near the Ecuadorian border and ended up straying over it. They claim it was an accident, but at the same time say they found documents linking Ecuador’s anti-American president with the terrorist group. Ecuador cut off relations, moved some armed forces into the region and called for the OAS to meet as would be expected after such an incident. And then BAM! Chavez makes his move!

Hugo also suspended diplomatic relations with Bogota and ordered his defense minister to move around 10,000 men along with tanks and jet fighters to his border with Columbia and threatened war. Chavez has called Uribe, the democratically elected president of Columbia, a liar and gangster while praising the recently killed FARC (read terrorist) leader Raul Reyes.

Chavez has spun what would have been an international dispute into a situation that could trigger war and he has done it coming to the aid of a terrorist organization. Chavez’s reforms inside Venezuela has led to sharp economic decline inside the country (including a food shortage) despite the recent rise in oil prices. Chavez knows his country is headed for domestic political turmoil and is trying to head it off by finding a foreign enemy, it is heavy handed and most people will see it for what it is. Let’s hope he doesn’t think a real war is necessary for him to stay in power.

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