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article imageHugo Chavez warns of war if Colombia elects Juan Manuel Santos

By Andrew Moran     Apr 26, 2010 in World
Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently hinted at a possible war in South America if Colombia elects Presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos.
After stating over the weekend that China has agreed to lend Venezuela $20 billion to secure oil supplies, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez warned Colombia that if they elect former Defense Chief Juan Manuel Santos on May 30 then ties will worsen and “could lead to war” in the region, according to AFP.
Chavez, speaking on his “Hello Mr. President” weekly television and radio broadcast, urged Santos to issue an apology for an attack on a guerrilla encampment that occurred during his time as Defense Chief two years ago.
“If he wants to be president, he should start by saying 'I'm sorry,' and ask forgiveness" for the bombing raid,” said Chavez.
The Venezuelan leader described Santos as an enemy and a threat to Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua. He further added that any aggression committed by Colombia against any one of those three nations would be an aggression against all, reports Hamsayeh.
Juan Manuel Santos is a presidential candidate in Colombia
Juan Manuel Santos is a presidential candidate in Colombia
Center for American Progress
The Taipei Times reports that Chavez dismissed a warning by retired brigadier general Antonio Rivero that a Cuban military presence is growing in Venezuela. Chavez believes that Rivero is attempting to paint Chavez as a pawn of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
“What Cubanization? The Cubans are helping us here. They’re telling us how to store compasses, how to repair radios inside tanks and how to stockpile ammunition,” said Chavez.
In an interview with AFP on Sunday, Santos said Chavez should stay out of Colombia’s affairs and its election next month and said the people of Colombia do not accept foreign "interference" in its internal affairs.
However, Santos added that although the two men think differently, “We each have one obligation vis a vis our people. And that is to respect our differences.”
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