Friday, October 03, 2014

Samper Enters the Venezuela Fray

The crisis in Venezuela has become increasingly entangled with Colombian politics. While they were presidents, Hugo Chávez and Alvaro Uribe sniped at each other constantly. At a 2010 summit they even almost brawled, with Raúl Castro (of all people) calming things down. After leaving the presidency, Uribe has been on a Twitter rampage, often tying the FARC to the Venezuelan government and blaming Juan Manuel Santos. There is even a birther movement claiming Maduro was born in Colombia! More recently, the Venezuelan government constantly blames violence on the Colombian right.

Now there is a new twist. Former Colombian President Ernesto Samper is blaming the murder of Robert Serra on Colombian paramilitaries. In other words, the accusations usually came from Venezuela, but not they're also coming from a Colombian. As you might guess, the Venezuelan press ate this up. Especially since Samper is the new Secretary-General of UNASUR and therefore has an international platform, this Venezuela-Colombia tangle will get more attention. Uribe has responded to Maduro, but I have not seen him respond to Samper. As it turns out, Samper has poked fun at Uribe for all this tweeting, so now may become the recipient of it.


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