CARACAS, Tuesday January 25, 2005 | Update
Opposition political parties concurred on questioning the
stance of President Hugo Chávez on the Colombian-Venezuelan
conflict and urged him again to lower the tone. For Primero
Justicia (PJ), President Chávez' is a "pseudo patriotic,
false speech." Acción Democrática (AD) warned against
break down of trade relations, as it could be "harmful for
both nations." Socialist party MAS views the actions at an
attempt to create an anti-US axis and Copei suggested to end
with the "microphone" diplomacy.
According to Deputy Gerardo Blyde (PJ), while they reject any potential attempt by Colombia at damaging Venezuelan sovereignty, they have requested from President Chávez a final position with regard to the irregular character of some organizations such as FARC, ELN and the Colombian self-defense.
In his view, "the government tries to put a cheap, pseudo patriotic feeling as smokescreen" and suggested to adopt the even stance of Foreign Minister Rodríguez Araque in order to lessen the conflict.
Blyde labeled the President expressions in reference to US Secretary State Condoleezza Rice as "not very polite and rude," and added that all human beings, particularly women, "deserve chivalry and good treatment."
According to MAS Secretary-General Leopoldo Puchi, the Venezuelan foreign policy is "erratic and ambiguous," because the head of state mixes multipolarity with the idea of creating an anti-US axis.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.