The crisis between Colombia and Venezuela is getting almost funny. Colombia’s president Álvaro Uribe travels around almost the whole continent to convince its leaders that it is imporant that the USA can use Colombia’s military bases, the reason why Venezuela’s president Chávez had entered into rage. In the meantime all kinds of people, ex-president Ernesto Samper, the opposition, businessmen, travel to Caracas to soothe the crisis.The reason why they do this is obvious: Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez is taking measures to seriously decrease the importation of Colombian products, like cars and meat, and that hurts. Especially now, when the whole world is in crisis and when the United States are very reluctant to ratify the Free Trade Treaty with Colombia. Not even the access to seven (!) Colombian bases will help, political analists think.
Poor Uribe, a heroe in his country and an outlaw across the borders. During his seven year presidency he hasn’t understood that he should not only invest in a good relationship with the powerful USA. Also when your neighbours are not ideologically what you would prefer, it is important to treat them well. And now it seems that they like the violent drugs trading FARC guerrillas better than a democratically chosen president. That is bitter.
Mr. Samper and the opposition are making a mistake by interfering in the problem. They delegitimize their own president. That is not only harmful for mr. Uribe, but also for the country. And mr. Chávez is taking advantage of the situation, saying that the dialogue with Colombia should be de-uribized.
Very difficult for mr. Uribe now to solve this problem. But he wouldn’t have had it, if he had managed a more intelligent relationship with his neighbours.