VIO News Blog

July 23, 2008

Security Issue for South America

During an event at the White House celebrating Colombian Independence Day yesterday, President Bush urged the US Congress to pass a free trade agreement with Colombia that has been stalled for months.  In addition to arguing that the free trade deal would strengthen the US economy he also stated that it would give support to Colombia in the face of its “hostile and anti-American neighbor” Venezuela. 

As news outlets continue to publish articles today hinting at an arms build up in Venezuela after meetings earlier in the week with Russia, a professor at the University of Miami opines on Brazil and Venezuela’s interest in forming a South American Defense Council (SDC) within the newly created Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).  The article, published in the Miami Herald, makes the outrageous claim that Colombian President Uribe’s decision not to back the regional group is based on President Chavez’s hopes to overthrow him.  No regional defense group is possible, concludes the author, because South American countries are fragmented.  Recent history and the numerous initiatives that have come to fruition in the region suggest otherwise.

Finally, two detailed articles in the alternative press highlight steps forward in the union movement and Venezuela’s upcoming regional elections schedule for November of this year.  According to Green Left Weekly, after four weeks of meetings between different factions of the National Union of Workers (UNT) and other key union federations, the UNT has decided to hold a national congress in September that will lead to internal elections hopefully by early next year.  In other domestic news, the facts surrounding a list of candidates who will be bared from participating in Venezuela’s regional elections due to corruption charges are analyzed.  While many news outlets have suggested that this is a political move to reduce the number of opposition candidates running, actually more than half of the original list appear to be supporters of the President. Additionally, pro-Chavez public figures have come out against the move and have publicly expressed their disagreement with it.  Far from being unconstitutional, the Comptroller General is actually implementing legislation that largely precedes the Chavez administration.

1 Comment »

  1. To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. E.E.CummingsE.E. Cummings

    Comment by Illegal Immigration — July 26, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

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