The ruler denied any deal with guerrilla members|
Washington sparked the crisis, says Chávez
SARA CAROLINA DIAZ
Outside Miraflores Palace, President Hugo Chávez closed a national sovereignty march held on Sunday by stating that the abduction of guerrilla leader Rodrigo Granda was not planned in Bogotá, but it is part of "Washington imperialist strategy to curb South American integration."
In an excited speech against the US imperialism and President Bush, Chávez filled the Colombian President Uribe Vélez government with recriminations and said that if Colombia failed to rectify, he would be forced to freeze bilateral relations and minimize trade.
During his speech that lasted one and a half hour before an enthusiast audience who praised his ironies and off color jokes about the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the President said that such provocations would continue but would never neutralize "the beautiful peaceful, democratic revolution in Venezuela." Followers filled almost three blocks of Urdaneta Avenue, from Miraflores Palace to Carmelitas corner.
"The USA will try to damage us again. They caused great harm in 2002, but I must warn Bush: If you continue this way, we will make you bite the dust of defeat once more time. I promise, you are not stronger," he said.
Afterwards, Chávez added: "I bet, I bet, Mr Bush. One dollar, is the following, who has longer here, that's O.K., no more, no more Mr Bush", in an attempt at challenging the US ruler to bet one dollar on who will stay longer in office. "I have two years left in this government. Now, he (Bush) has an advantage because he was elected for four additional years. I am candidate to the elections of December 2006. I bet one dollar on who will stay longer -whether he in the White House or Chávez in Miraflores, let's see."
Waiting for signals
Chávez -who on several occasions acknowledged that the two countries were facing a diplomatic crisis and labeled as disgusting the communiqués from the Colombian government- regretted that Uribe "did not take his time" to react. Chávez insisted on the fact that for one month he studied a proper response to Granda's abduction. "I spoke up when the situation was unsustainable, when a version emerged about a presumed handover of Granda by the Venezuelan government."
Translated by Conchita
Argentina is willing to help solve Colombian-Venezuelan crisis
Samper calls Chávez' warning to Colombia an "economic blackmail"
Venezuela restricts trade on the Colombian border
Lula advises Chávez and Uribe to overcome impasse
Vice-President Rangel disappointed with Colombian report
|Copyright @ Diario El Universal C.A. 2004|