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Old 03-03-2008, 06:40 AM   #1
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War in South America

Quote:
Raid leads to South American standoff

* Story Highlights
* Troops in Ecuador, Venezuela being sent to Colombian border after raid
* Colombia: Papers show Ecuador had interest in formalizing relations with FARC
* Ecuadoran government spokesman reportedly denies Colombian accusations


(CNN) -- Troops from Ecuador and Venezuela have been ordered toward their borders with Colombia amid a tense crisis that threatens to erupt into war.

The leftist presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela ordered the troop movements in response to a raid by the rightist Colombian government that killed a top Colombian rebel on Ecuadoran soil.

The tension deepened Sunday night, when the director of Colombia's national police force revealed evidence that he said showed links between Ecuador's government and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which has fought to overthrow the Colombian government for 40 years.

He said Colombia obtained the evidence from computers it seized after killing the senior FARC leader.

Developments in the northern part of South America have unfolded at a rapid pace since Saturday, when the Colombian police and military killed the FARC's second-in-command, Luis Edgar Devia Silva, known as "Raul Reyes." The Colombian government described it as the most significant blow yet against the rebels.

Colombia says its police and air force attacked targets in Colombia and shot back only after its forces came under fire from FARC rebels about a mile inside Ecuador.

Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos denied that Colombia violated Ecuadoran airspace, but the presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela disputed that and assailed the raid as an infringement of Ecuador's sovereignty.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered 10 battalions of troops to the Colombian border Sunday and closed Venezuela's embassy in the Colombian capital of Bogota. He said Venezuela would have declared war on Colombia if Colombian troops had attacked targets on Venezuelan soil.

Chavez called the attack "a cowardly murder" that was "coldly prepared." He pledged to support Ecuador and blamed the United States -- a close ally of Colombia and its president, Alvaro Uribe.

"We don't want war, but we will not allow the North American empire -- which is the master -- and its sub-President [Alvaro] Uribe and the Colombian oligarchy to divide, to weaken us," he said. "We will not allow it."

Chavez called Uribe a "liar," a "criminal" and a "gangster." VideoWatch what led to attack »

In a televised address on Sunday night, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador called the raid by Colombian police and warplanes a "massacre" that killed numerous civilians.

"There is not any justification for foreign military action in our territory," Correa said.

He withdrew Ecuador's ambassador to Colombia, expelled Colombia's ambassador to Ecuador and ordered troops toward the Colombian frontier.

He said he planned to meet with his national security advisers Monday, and that a simple apology from Colombia will not suffice.

"We demand signed and formal promises made before the international community that will guarantee that these unacceptable actions will not be repeated," Correa said.

The attack killed Reyes -- a member of the seven-man FARC leadership council known as the general secretariat -- and another leading FARC figure, Guillermo Enrique Torres or "Julian Conrado," who was a key ideologue.

Correa said Saturday that Uribe told him the incident occurred during as Colombian troops were in hot pursuit of a FARC column. Yet his troops learned, he said, that Colombian planes had struck the rebels as they slept in a camp about a mile inside Ecuador.

"Of course Ecuadoran airspace was invaded," he said.

Colombian ground forces crossed into Ecuador and retrieved Reyes' body, leaving the others, he said.

"We will not permit this outrage ... the situation is extremely grave and the Ecuadoran government is disposed to go to the ultimate consequences," he said.

He accused Colombia on Sunday night of "lying to Ecuador and the world."

Correa spoke Sunday with the presidents of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela "to share with them the gravity of the situation," he said.

Correa and Chavez are ideological allies -- two of several leftist presidents who have been elected in Latin America in recent years. They stand on the opposite side of the political spectrum from Uribe, a rightist president with close ties to the United States.

Chavez is an outspoken U.S. foe who relied on his leftist credentials to help secure the recent release of six of roughly 750 hostages the FARC holds. Many have been held for years in harsh conditions in the South American jungle.

FARC justifies hostage-taking as a legitimate military tactic in a long-running and complex civil war that also has involved right-wing paramilitaries, government forces and drug traffickers.

In Washington, the White House said Sunday that it was monitoring the situation. Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, "This is an odd reaction by Venezuela to Colombia's efforts against the FARC, a terrorist organization that continues to hold Colombians, Americans and others hostage."

In addition to the United States, the European Union and Colombia also label the FARC a terrorist organization.

Adding to the complexity of a delicate situation was news late Sunday that the Colombian forces who attacked the FARC on Saturday recovered three computers from the rebel camp.

The Colombian director of national police, Oscar Naranjo, said the computers contained "tremendously revealing" documents showing Ecuadoran overtures to the FARC, which Colombia considers a "very grave" move that affects its security.

Naranjo said some documents recovered on the computer describe "links of the FARC particularly with the government of President Correa" of Ecuador. He said the documents appear to have been written by Reyes to other senior FARC leaders.

The documents show that Ecuador's minister of security met recently with Reyes, Naranjo said, and that Ecuador had "an interest in formalizing relations with the FARC," Naranjo said, according to an account published on a Colombian government Web site.

An Ecuadoran government spokesman told The Associated Press that the Colombian claims were a lie.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
Something to keep a close eye on in the next few days. I have a weird gut feeling that this is going to boil over in a hurry...
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:14 AM   #2
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I saw this on Cnn.com last night. I tried not to think about it.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:27 AM   #3
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So Chavez is incensed that Colombia went on a raid against FARC about 1.5 km across the border into Ecuador. Could Colombia, instead, be "incensed" that a nation is taking an implicit "non-neutral" stance in Colombia's civil war, in favor of "the enemy" (Venezuela)? Or what about a nation that is harboring "terrorists" (Ecuador)?

Be in favor of leftism all one wants, but FARC is pretty damn unsavory to be supporting. They are a relic of the Cold War that should have died with the Soviet Union.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #4
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U.S. could intervene as Chavez prepares for war on Colombia
By WILLIAM LOWTHER

Venezuela threatened to declare war on neighbouring Colombia last night, raising the prospect of the U.S. being drawn into conflict in South America.

Venezuela's Left-wing president Hugo Chavez ordered ten tank battalions to the Colombian border and put war-planes under emergency stand-by.

The tension follows Colombia's decision to send its army to strike against anti-government guerrillas hiding in the jungles of Ecuador.

President Hugo Chavez: Venezuela has mobilised its military forces and threatened to declare war on neighbouring Colombia

The surprise attack - launched without Ecuador's permission - killed Raul Reyes, a top commander in the Left-wing Colombian rebel group Farc, and about 16 of his men.

President Chavez yesterday closed the Colombian embassy in Caracas, warning that any similar entry into his country's territory after the rebels would be "cause for war".

The U.S. would almost certainly come to Colombia's aid if oil-rich Venezuela launched an invasion. But Washington-based diplomats played down the brouhaha and said it might be no more than bluster from Chavez, an outspoken opponent of the U.S.

However, Pentagon sources said Colombia had been warned not to allow its hunt for Farc rebels to cross Venezuela's borders.


More>>>
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1811




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Old 03-04-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
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It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep.
But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing.
Something's happening in the world.
The person answering that phone already knows the world's leaders,
knows the military,
and is tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.


"Dubya here."
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:36 AM   #6
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Don´t know what will happen, I hope this stays in words, especially since I live so near the border with Colombia
Fucking PIG!!!!! No wonder why I hate left, is because of people like him
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:38 AM   #7
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don't worry if Chavez invades Columbia
Obama will talk to him

perhaps he can get conference call with Fidel going, too.

Si, Se Puede!
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500
It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep.
But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing.
Something's happening in the world.
The person answering that phone already knows the world's leaders,
knows the military,
and is tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.


"Dubya here."


but we must ask,

would he know that columbians are not venezuelans?
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:42 AM   #9
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Erm, not really the thread for US presidential campaign jokes guys.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
don't worry if Chavez invades Columbia
Obama will talk to him

perhaps he can get conference call with Fidel going, too.

Si, Se Puede!

i'm



and i approve this ad.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:14 AM   #11
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This is a scary situation. While on one hand I kind of feel like the Colombian government is a bit hypocritical grousing about Venezuela interfering in their civil war when they'd be glad to have someone (the US) interfering on their side, on the other I'm just worried about the likely escalation here. It's not even left-right really; I'm as left as they come and I can't quite stomach Chavez, what he calls left smells a lot like fascism to me. It's just going to be an ugly situation with atrocities on both sides
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
FARC acquired uranium, says Colombia

By Sibylla Brodzinsky
Christian Science Monitor, March 28 2008


Bogotá -- Weeks after the dust settled from the Colombian bombs dropped on a clandestine rebel camp in Ecuador, the information found on three laptop computers found in the rubble continues to reverberate in the Andes. On Wednesday, Colombian military officials said that they recovered 66 pounds of uranium that, they say, was acquired by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Colombian Gen. Freddy Padilla tied the uranium to the seized laptops, saying one of the computer files mentions attempts by the FARC to buy uranium, apparently to resell. Earlier this month, Colombian officials claimed the rebels were seeking uranium to make a "dirty bomb."

The controversial March 1 air raid killed 24 people, including the No. 2 leader of the FARC, Raúl Reyes, sparking Latin America's most serious diplomatic crisis in decades. Venezuela has since restored full diplomatic relations with Colombia, and Ecuador says it intends to. But there's uneasiness in the capitals of Caracas and Quito about what else may be revealed by the FARC laptops--and how Colombian President Alvaro Uribe intends to use it, analysts say. "There is a temporary rapprochement but the uneasy relationship will continue" as long the computer files are in play, says Michael Shifter of Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank.

The laptops reportedly detail meetings between FARC leaders and members of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's government--and a possible $20,000 rebel contribution to Mr. Correa's campaign. Another document, say Colombian officials, indicates Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez planned to make his own contribution to the FARC of $300 million and several hundred used rifles. Based on that information, Mr. Uribe threatened to have Mr. Chávez prosecuted in international courts for sponsoring "genocide."

After sending troops to the Colombian border, suddenly a week later Chávez called for reconciliation and Correa accepted Colombia's apology for violating its territory. Laura Gil, an international relations consultant in Bogotá, says it was the computer files rather than their "vocation for peace," that led Chávez and Correa to stand down from the conflict. "Chávez and Uribe checkmated each other," agrees Mr. Shifter, explaining the lightning-fast reestablishing of ties. Ecuador has been slower to send its ambassador back to Bogotá, wary that Colombia may still plan to use the information to its advantage. Both Chávez and Correa are now warning that tensions in the Andes will not fully ease unless Colombia agrees to keep quiet about what's on the computers.

"As long as they keep using the supposed computers to attack us, the conflict is going to continue to flare," Chávez told reporters in Caracas Tuesday. In an attempt to discredit what else may be released from the computers in the future, Chávez suggested he may be falsely linked to the leaders of Al Qaeda and the FARC. "Don't be alarmed if from that computer they pull a photo of me with [Osama] bin Laden and Manuel Marulanda," he jibed. For his part, Correa asked: "How can we renew relations if they keep trying to link us to the FARC to justify their aggression?"

Only a fraction of what is on the computers--believed to contain thousands of files--has been released to the public. Colombian authorities say they also used information from the computers to tip off the Costa Rican police to a stash of $480,000 belonging to the FARC that a local couple was keeping in their San Jose home. The cash was confiscated, but Costa Rican authorities did not charge the couple with any crime. The computers and two hard disks are now in the hands of Interpol experts who are examining the files to verify that they had not been tampered with since their recovery from the camp.

A FARC statement published on Venezuela's Information Ministry's website ridicules Colombia's claims about the computer files, saying that the computers would not have survived the Colombian Army attack "even if they had been bullet-proof." But other items, such as a large-screen LCD television, are known to have survived the attack intact.

Since the easing of tensions with its neighbors, the Colombian government has ordered a halt to any further public airing of the files. But the information that Uribe may hold up his sleeve gives him powerful leverage. "He'll use it when it suits his purpose," says Shifter.

The United States has shown interest in using the information as well. Several US lawmakers have called for the State Department to add Venezuela to its list of terror sponsors, which includes North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba. That temptation, says Shifter, will be balanced, however, by skyrocketing oil prices. Venezuela is a major oil exporter, and any sanctions on it would drive the price higher. Still, US ambassador to Colombia, William Brownfield, said US officials have had access to the files. "Whatever information is culled from those computers could then be used subsequently" in legal processes in the Untied States or elsewhere, he said in Washington Monday.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:12 PM   #13
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hopefully Obama will cut the intelligence community so badly, we'll never be able to track counterproliferation.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:17 PM   #14
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Originally posted by MadelynIris
hopefully Obama will cut the intelligence community so badly, we'll never be able to track counterproliferation.
Much better to let them carry on with the important tasks of inventing weapons of mass destruction, fomenting right wing coups in far off countries and such other ventures as those fine august group of people are renowed for!
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #15
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Erm, not really the thread for US presidential campaign jokes guys.
No kidding!!!
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