jueves, 11 de octubre de 2012

Hugo Chávez victory irks Colombia's Uribe

Colombia's former conservative president Álvaro Uribe Vélez said in Washington DC on 11 October that he "could not explain" the recent re-election of the socialist Hugo Chávez as Venezuelan president and vowed to continue criticizing his regime whether or not he returned to public life. Uribe was in the United States to promote his book No hay causa perdida (No Lost Causes), EFE reported. Speaking at the National Press Club, Uribe said "the rule of law is daily violated in Venezuela" and Chávez had created a "Cuban-style regime and protected Colombian terrorists," meaning the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He said Chávez, a "declared accomplice of terrorists," was presenting himself as "a promoter of peace in Colombia," with the approval of the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. He reiterated his opposition to the Santos government's decision to talk with the FARC to end decades of guerrilla conflict in Colombia. Santos he said had neglected security and placed "all the emphasis on conversations" with the FARC, adding "I do not agree with dialogue with criminals who have not stopped their criminal activities." Santos was defence minister when Uribe was president in 2002-10, and helped implement Uribe's iron-fist strategy against the FARC. Uribe said he could not understand why "this government" was changing laws to allow "those guilty of extortion, kidnappings, drug trafficking and violations of humanitarian law" to participate one day in Colombian politics. The social reintegration of guerrillas is among issues to be discussed in planned talks between Colombia and the FARC.