Chavez backs Brazil’s plan for regional security alliance

March 27th, 2008 - 8:25 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Buenos Aires, March 27 (RIA Novosti) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has given his backing to Brazil’s proposal for a regional defence council, amid tensions between his country and neighbour Colombia. The region was brought on the verge of armed conflict early this month when Colombian army raided a camp of the country’s largest leftist insurgent group hiding in Ecuadorian jungles across its borders, killing the second in command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) among 23 rebels.

In the backlash of the Colombian incursion, Venezuela and Ecuador sent thousands of troops to their borders with Colombia, but the crisis subsided after regional leaders reached a peace deal after a week which condemned Bogota’s action.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday after talks with Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Recife, northeast Brazil, Chavez said a Latin American security alliance would allow the region to defend itself from “imperialism, neoliberals and pre-emptive military action”, in a clear reference to the US.

Chavez has branded Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe, the US’ main ally in South America, “Washington’s poodle”.

Since Colombia’s raid, Ecuador and Venezuela have withdrawn their ambassadors from Bogota, and most South American countries have sided with Ecuador in condemning the incursion as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Chavez said a military alliance between Latin American states, to add to economic and political ties, would fulfil the dream of Simon Bolivar, who led Venezuela’s drive for independence from Spain in the early 19th century, and was also instrumental in liberating four other South American countries.

Chavez and Lula Da Silva’s meeting in Recife was also focused on building an oil refinery in the city. However, the left-wing allies failed to reach a specific agreement on the refinery.
RIA Novosti

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