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January 13, 2008


Gabriel Cisneros

Chavez also said in his annual address to the National Assembly (similar to the "state of the union" address in US), that he "respected" the "Bolivarian" nature of the FARC's struggle. That is to say, he found it akin to his own project which is "Bolivarian" also. Oddly enough, Chavez appears to read Simon Bolivar less as the "Washington of South America" and more as a vessel into which he can pour the commands he receives from Fidel Castro in order to give them a patriotic sheen. He also rather pompously mused about his determination to one day live to see a "Grand Colombia" one that stretches from Venezuela, through Colombia to the Pacific ocean. Put together "respect" for the "political" project of the FARC, a vision of a Grand Colombia and the repeated assertions that Uribe is merely a "lackey of US imperialism" and you've got a pretty strong argument for concluding that Chavez has declared a "long fused" war against Colombia.

Daniel Moase

To say that Chavez has declared a 'long fused' war against Columbia is an extremely provocative accusation. Just because Chavez was critical of Uribe does not mean that he is against the soveriegn state of Columbia; he is simply being critical of policies instituted by the head of state, just Uribe is critical of some of the policies the Venezuelan government has instituted and the actions of Chavez himself. To criticise does not mean to start a war but to possibly start a constructive dialouge that may lead to some kind of peaceful resolution.
Using Bolivar as a vessel for patriotism? Are you suggesting that Chavez does not follow through with the idea of an integrated Americas and his rheotoric is simply to designed to increase his popularity in Venezuela? What about the alternatives such as ALBA? "Venezuela’s vision of regional integration is based on
the writings of Simón Bolívar, the Liberator of much of South America, and is united under the banner of the
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA. ALBA is grounded in the principles of complementarity(rather than competition), solidarity (instead of domination), cooperation (not exploitation), and respect
for sovereignty (instead of corporate rule). And ALBA is based on grassroots citizen participation, as the citizenry
are both the implementers and the beneficiaries of the agreements under the banner of ALBA." http://www.globalexchange.org/countries/americas/venezuela/VZneoliberalismALBA.pdf
Where is your evidence to prove that Chavez 'receives commands' from Fidel Castro? Is he not presently gravely ill and unable to take command of his own country, let alone another one?

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