Girish Gupta

HOME

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Chávez appointment - a slap to Colombia?
Jan. 19, 2012 — Caracas, Venezuela

Published by Christian Science Monitor

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has tried to build better relations with his counterpart in Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, who once accused the Colombian president of trying to have him assassinated.

But as Mr. Chávez enters election year with stepped up rhetoric aimed at Washington and the opposition at home, Mr. Santos may be caught in the crossfire. One of the primary sources of antagonism between the two nations was Chávez’s alleged links to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The links are personified by Venezuelan Gen. Henry Rangel Silva, who was accused by the United States in 2008 of aiding drug trafficking and pushing for cooperation between the Venezuelan government and FARC.

Chávez swore in General Rangel Silva this week as Venezuela’s new defense minister.

The ceremony came just days after two major Colombian news outlets published correspondence which they claim proves that Rangel Silva was for a long time the principle contact between the Venezuelan government and FARC and also shows links between the general and FARC’s newly appointed leader Rodrigo Londono, also known as Timochenko.

Authorities in both Washington and Bogotá will have grimaced at the appointment. Chávez, however, defended his decision in typically theatrical language.

“If our defense minister is attacked by imperialism and its lackeys and if our defense minister is attacked by the Venezuelan bourgeoisie, it is because we have a tremendous defence minister,” said Chávez as he spoke to the thousands of troops gathered at Fort Tiuna in Caracas. “[They] have no proof,” Chávez added. “It is all untrue.”

It is not just US and Colombian diplomats who will be worried. With elections due in less than 10 months, and primaries within a month, there are concerns that Chávez is asserting his control on the army in preparation.

Rangel Silva even declared last year that the Venezuelan military was “absolutely loyal” to Chávez.

If elections don’t go Chávez’s way in October, there are worries that the military will fail to support the alternative successor; this would inevitably destabilize the OPEC-member country.

Chávez did say in a 10-hour state of the nation speech on Friday that he would honor election results and show off the “political maturity” the country had acquired during his now 13-year Bolivarian revolution.

Filed from
Caracas, Venezuela






More...

Crisis-hit Venezuela halts publication of another major indicator
Mar. 21, 2017


Back in Venezuela, 'world's worst skier' proud of his performance
Feb. 26, 2017


Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis
Dec. 15, 2016


Desperate to dump soon-worthless cash, Venezuelans flock to banks
Dec. 13, 2016


Inflation-hit Venezuela to pull largest bill from circulation
Dec. 11, 2016


Venezuela confirms bigger bills amid world's highest inflation
Dec. 04, 2016


Venezuela PDVSA awards $3.2 bln oil service contracts, protest brews
Sept. 21, 2016


Maduro revels in support from Zimbabwe, Iran as critics decry failed summit
Sept. 18, 2016


Venezuela summit draws few leaders in blow to Maduro
Sept. 17, 2016


Near Venezuela summit, pots-and-pans protest showed domestic tumult
Sept. 17, 2016


Once 'Pearl of Caribbean' gets new shine for Venezuela summit
Sept. 16, 2016


Maduro boasts start of Venezuela summit despite 'gringo pressure'
Sept. 13, 2016


Venezuela's troubles overshadow Non-Aligned Summit
Sept. 11, 2016


Venezuela renews drilling tender after earlier collapse - sources
Aug. 26, 2016


Hungry in a Venezuelan slum, a Facebook Live video
Aug. 04, 2016








© Girish Gupta