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.
Economic Impact of Border Shutdown
BORDERS The members of the National Council of Trade and Services (Consecomercio) have appealed to the diplomacy of Venezuela and Colombia to build bridges of understanding and agreement for a solution to the problems on the border.
BORDERS The Venezuelan-Colombian Chamber of Economic Integration (Cavecol) bets on conciliation and volunteers as "factor of understanding" between the parties in view of the situation resulting from the shutdown of the Venezuela-Colombia border, reiterated Cavecol CEO Víctor Montiel.
BORDERS A shutdown for 72 hours of the Venezuela-Colombia border results in over USD 400,000 in losses and harms about 100,000 people, disclosed on Friday Edgar Díaz, the governor of Colombian department of Norte de Santander (northeast). He added that the situation in the area is "in full calm."