Accessibility links

Venezuela Urges UN Security Council to Take Up Colombia Conflict

  • Margaret Besheer

Venezuela says that Colombia's long-running internal conflict with rebels and drug traffickers is a threat to its security and other nations in the region. In a letter Wednesday, Venezuela's foreign minister asked the United Nations Security Council to review the situation.

In the letter, Venezuela's foreign minister said Colombia's internal conflict constitutes "a serious threat to international peace and security" and should be on the council's agenda.

Armed conflict in Colombia is not new. Military forces there have been battling anti-government insurgents, particularly the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for four decades.

Venezuela is also upset about the agreement signed last month between Bogota and Washington that gives U.S. troops access to seven Colombian bases for anti-drug operations.

Venezuela's U.N. ambassador, Jorge Valero, told reporters that the deal threatens the peace and security of his country and others in the region.

"The seven military bases installed in Colombia are meant to project the global power of the U.S. and to deter with its military threat of intervention countries that maintain a critical position in relation to its imperialist policies," said Jorge Valero.

Valero went on to say that the accord violates Colombia's sovereignty and should be suspended.

"The agreement ascribed to between Colombia and the United States turns Colombia into a foreign territory, a country subjected to the presence of a foreign government," he said. "Thus, Colombia loses its sovereignty."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the agreement is about bilateral cooperation and does not concern other countries.

Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela escalated earlier this month, after Venezuela blew up two pedestrian foot bridges that connect the two countries. Colombia brought the incident to the attention of the Security Council.

But it is unclear what, if any, action either country wants the council to take. The Security Council tends to be the venue of last resort. Analysts say a disagreement of this type is more likely to be settled through regional bodies such as the Organization of American States.

XS
SM
MD
LG