Venezuela-Colombia crisis:Castro intervenes, Chavez and Uribe scheduled to meet

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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

South America – The President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe is scheduled to meet the President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez Thursday. Apparently the crisis between Venezuela and Colombia is almost solved. The crisis began with the imprisonment of the alleged FARC member Rodrigo Granda by Colombian forces on December 13, 2004. Venezuela accused Colombian of invading Venezuelan territory. Colombia accused Venezuela of harboring FARC terrorists. The President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, intervened in the crisis and talked to Chavez and Uribe.

According to Bogota's newspaper El Tiempo, Uribe asked for Castro's help on January 21. Castro responded with surprising speed and effectiveness. On January 21 Castro sent the chancellor Felipe Perez Roque to Caracas where he met with Chávez and then returned to Havana, informing Castro on the results of the encounter. After midnight Castro communicated by telephone with Uribe for two hours. They decided that Castro would send his Vice-chancellor with a letter detailing what they had talked about to Chávez.

During the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Chavez appeared to be optimistic about the end of the crisis. He recognized the importance of Castro's role in the resolution of the problems between Colombia and Venezuela. Also he was thankful for the help of the other leaders in South America.

The crisis between Venezuela and Colombia lasted more than a month without a solution and it was entering a dangerous stage, with severe accusations from both sides. During recent days the US government became more interested in the conflict and was pressuring Chávez for a clear declaration about his relationship with the FARC. The US is an ally of Colombia in the fight against FARC. FARC is a member of, and supported by, the Foro de São Paulo, an alleged anti-imperialism and anti-liberalism organization of South America. Other Forum de São Paulo member states include Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela.

Chronology

There is some uncertainty about the date of some events.

2004 - December

  • 13: FARC-EP member Rodrigo Granda is arrested by Colombian authorities.
  • 15: The Colombian National Police director Jorge Daniel Castro says Granda was arrested in Cúcuta, Colombia.
  • 16: Sources of the Cúcuta police say Granda was arrested in a city hotel.
  • 17: Another source of the Cúcuta police says Granda was arrested in a street of the Norte de Santander capital, Colombia.
  • 30: The FARC say Granda was kidnapped.

2005 - January

  • 3: The FARC demand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to begin a investigation.
  • 5: Venezuelan Minister Jesse Chacón says that Venezuela didn't take part in the capture of Granda.
  • 5: The Colombian Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe says that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 6: The Colombian President Álvaro Uribe also says that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 9: The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that the Colombian police lies about the Granda capture.
  • 12: The Colombian Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe says that a reward was paid for Granda. He reiterates that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory.
  • 13: The National Police director Jorge Daniel Castro says that Colombian authorities didn't take part of the arrestment of Granda in Caracas, Venezuela.
  • 13: Chavez says that Venezuelan ambassador should leave Bogotá in Colombia.
  • 20: Lula da Silva talks to Colombian president Álvaro Uribe.
  • 21: Fidel Castro intervened. A meeting between Uribe and Chaves is scheduled. The crisis seems to be solved.

See also

References

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