The Venezuelan President insisted in saying that Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos could lead to a war in the region
"If (Juan Manuel) Santos (is elected) as (Colombia's) President, he could cause a war in this part of the world, upon instructions from the Yankees," President Hugo Chávez said during his Sunday TV and radio show Aló Presidente.
He clarified that he has no candidate for the Colombian elections to be held on May 30, adding that he was willing to resume relations with the neighboring country, "regardless of the winner" of the elections, but if ties "are based on mutual respect."
Chávez said that the former Colombian Defense Minister "is trying to dress as Little Red Riding Hood. We would have to say then, Little Red Riding Hood Santos! (But) he is a wolf sent to bomb and invade Ecuador," such as in the raid (March 2008), where the Colombian army killed Raúl Reyes, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
"I'm not going to tolerate a single act of disrespect toward our country, because they are not only affecting me but to the Venezuelan people and our Armed Forces. How long are they going to continue repeating that we have guerrillas hidden here, that Venezuelan soldiers give courses to terrorists? ... It's a lie. Instead, they have killed our officers, troops and kidnap our people."
In his view, Santos "should start putting things in order in his head," because "being a minister is not the same thing that being a President of a country." "He should start by saying: I was wrong. I am sorry; as his President did (...) He says that he is proud (of the operation in Ecuador) and that they have to find terrorists where they are." "If he is elected President, we'll see (...) It's up to the people of Colombia, but we will not remain silent," Chávez said.
LOPEZ CASE HRW endorsed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' call on Venezuela to release Leopoldo López.
LOPEZ CASE Without giving many details, Venezuelan Congress' Speaker Diosdado Cabello has claimed he saved opposition leader Leopoldo López's life, adding that there were no negotiations whatsoever days before the dissenter turned himself in to the Bolivarian National Guard earlier this year. "He (López) knew it (information about his possible assassination), too. Why did he turn himself in? He and his family were aware of that," said the legislator in an interview with daily newspaper El Universal.
HUMAN RIGHTS The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern on Monday at the continued detention of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, as well as more than 69 other people who were arrested in the context of public protests that took place across Venezuela over several months starting in February this year.