Tensions with Venezuela escalate as Bogotá boycotts Quito summit

Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela have deepened after Colombian ministers failed to attend a regional summit in Ecuador. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) meeting in Quito was intended to defuse the crisis. But Bogotá refused to send its foreign and defense ministers, saying respectful discussions were “impossible”—sending only what what it called a “technical delegation.” Venezuela called the move an act of “contempt.” (BBC News, Nov, 28)

In Bogotá, Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva told Radio Caracol: “For the first time in decades, the Minister of Defense is pondering how to deal, how to prepare for a situation of external threat.” However, he warned that Colombia does not want “to deviate from the central strategic goal: defeating narco-terrorism.” Therefore, he added, “we must not spend energy, resources and people in some international caprices, created by an unacceptable rhetoric.” (El Universal, Caracas, Nov, 27)

In Quito, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told reporters: “Colombia’s defense minister stayed in Bogotá and started to say things, like some crazy sniper [francotirador loco], irresponsible, warmongering, firing shots at Venezuela. Why didn’t he come here to say face to face what he said today?” (El Universal, Reuters, Nov. 27

See our last posts on Venezuela and the crisis with Colombia.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.