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Venezuela threatens Colombia after Santos meets opposition leader Capriles

Friday, May 31st 2013 - 07:27 UTC
Full article 30 comments
Cabello: “President Santos is putting a bomb in the good relations that President Chavez” Cabello: “President Santos is putting a bomb in the good relations that President Chavez”
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles and President Santos Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles and President Santos

Caracas is furious over a Wednesday meeting between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua told state television the meeting “will bring a derailment of the good relations that we have” while Parliament Speaker Diosdado Cabello compared the meeting to “placing a bomb on the train.”

Cabello added that Caracas would evaluate whether it would continue to support the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group. He also said Venezuelan diplomat Roy Chatterton has been recalled from the talks.

Capriles and Santos met in Bogotá at the start of the opposition leader's tour around Latin America to make his case that April's presidential election in Venezuela was fraudulent, making President Nicolas Maduro's government illegitimate.

The meeting was private but is reported to have included issues of freedom of speech in Venezuela and the failure of President Nicolas Maduro's government to live up to promises to carry out an audit of 100% of the votes in the April 14th election, which Capriles narrowly lost — and in which he alleges fraud took place.

The Maduro government has also gone after Capriles, calling him a “fascist” and saying he is trying to cause a coup in Venezuela.

“Colombia must clarify if the government is with Capriles' coup intentions, or with the people of Venezuela and with the legitimate, sovereign and constitutional government of comrade Nicolas Maduro”, Cabello told state media.

“President Santos is putting a bomb in the good relations that President Chavez urged so much ... He is receiving a murderer, a fascist right there in his palace.”

In the televised statement, Jaua also said the Venezuelan government intended to immediately stop its involvement as a facilitator in Colombian peace talks with FARC rebels that are taking place in Cuba.

Colombia's foreign minister, Maria Angela Holguin, said it would respond to Caracas in private, without “microphone diplomacy”.


Top Comments

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  • ElaineB

    Maduro's government is so bloody insecure. They should just shut up and not mention it rather then give it political significance by making a fuss. And Cabello should stop referring to the dead Chavez, it only further undermines Maduro. Does anyone in Maduro's government have any political nous?

    May 31st, 2013 - 08:15 am 0
  • Welsh Wizard

    It is slightly concerning that they are continually talking about a coup or about the possibility of the president being assasinated. Are the setting the groung for something?

    In the end they should ingore Capriles. I'm dissappointed in him and his tactics since the election. It may have be fraudulent, I don't know but personally I think that he shuld get on with being an effective opposition and, if he wants change, bring this about by power of his arguments. This shouldn't be too difficult as, whatever you think of Maduro's poliocies, his government seems to be in a mess, without clarity and without true direction.

    May 31st, 2013 - 08:51 am 0
  • Anglotino

    Venezuela is run by bloody idiots! Honestly what a big bunch of bloody drama queens to look at not supporting peace talks with the FARC because of one meeting!

    Is the Colombian army massing on the border? Has anything changed?

    Capriles has every right to meet with whomever he pleases and the Colombian government does too. Maduro's government is sliding further towards outright fascism in some respects.

    It is no wonder that amongst the average Colombian, that Venezuela is now viewed as a basket case.

    May 31st, 2013 - 09:04 am 0
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