Chavez or no Chavez, they're crossing the border

Worsening relations between Colombia and Venezuela led to a decision on November 3 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to close the border between the two countries. Instead of giving in to the obstacle however, residents from either side are finding every way round it.

On November 9 President Chavez told Venezuelans to prepare for war with Colombia, after it emerged the US army had been granted access to seven of the country's military bases. Chavez had already closed the border with Colombia a week earlier, following the murder of two border guards. Caracas suspected the Colombian paramilitary of carrying out the attack. This was followed by the killing of nine Venezuelans from the border town of Tachira. And to top things off, Chavez believed that the government in Bogota was planning to assassinate him.

Chavez deployed 15,000 Bolivian National Guards (GNB) along a 2,000-metre stretch of the frontier. The border towns of Mara, Páez and Almirante Padilla soon found themselves home to tanks and armoured vehicles.

Despite the tensions, however, residents from both sides of the border remain on good terms, and even manage, in various ways, to reach their neighbour's side.

 Globovision

 Globovision
Images from state run media Globovision.

Contributors

“It’s only Chavez who’s being hostile"

Edgar Alirio Álvarez writes a blog about the Colombian border town of Cúcuta, where he lives.

The worst affected by this crisis are border towns like Cúcuta, San Cristóbal and Táchira. Economic activity has been paralysed and difficulties getting across the border mean that many companies have been forced to put their employees on ‘holiday'. Both countries are suffering. On the Venezuelan side they're missing essentials that they usually get from Colombia, which is why trade is continuing. People take detours to get round the checkpoints, leading to nasty situations when they're spotted by the guards. Bridges between the two territories have been overrun. People are even making money by renting ladders or helping people cross the river.

Most people don't envisage war here. It's only Chavez who's being hostile. A lot of people think the Venezuelan president's warlike declarations are just a way of drawing attention away from internal problems."

Comments

No rechazo directamente los

No rechazo directamente los -ismos, solo rechazo la ambición desmedida de un personaje caricatural del populismo que sueña con quedarse con el poder de manera vitalicia como ... (cuantos años llevan los Castro en el poder?)

Una prueba màs que se trata

Una prueba màs que se trata de naciones hermanas, no obstante que los gobernantes de turno enfrenten sus egos y pretendan polarizar a la población tras falsas ideologías

Nine dead men that the

Nine dead men that the article mentions, were not Venezuelan, were Colombian in Venezuelan territory.

Hay muchos complejos en

Hay muchos complejos en América Latina sobre como luchar contra el terrorismo, cierto miedo a la libertad...En culquier caso el artículo, muy interesante.
Flavio Clemente

Por favor¡¡¡¡, el Plan

Por favor¡¡¡¡, el Plan Clombia. El régimen de Uribe ha conculcado sistemáticamente los derechos humanos, no es esa la manera de luchar contra el terrorismo
M Medina

Hay que superar el

Hay que superar el antiamericanismo. No podemos seguir diciendo que todo lo que viene de Estados Unidos es malo para América Latina. ¿Acaso no ha sido una buena solución el apoyo al Plan Colombia?
Flavio Clemente

Para defenderse del

Para defenderse del populismo de Chavez hay que no caer en las manos de Estados Unidos, Uribe se somete a la administración USA y eso nos es bueno
M Medina

Me parece un

Me parece un interesantísimo artículo. El conflicto entre Venezuela y Colombia es una de las claves decisivas del futuro de América Latina, es la fricción entre un país como Colombia, que con todas las limitaciones, lucha contra el terrorismo y un país como Venezuela, dominado por el populismo.
Fernando de Haro

the situation here in

the situation here in Colombia is critical. with the aspiration for a new presidential period Uribe seems to live in the cold war age. and belives that communists are evil. His political position let him to approach easily the right extremist and the oligarchy. His position determinated to exterminate the guerrilla makes him a leader for war but not for a social change. making the colombian conflict an international problem we are perhaps near the begining of war where once again it's the cilivians who are going to carry the worts part of all this. beacause the president family politicians and the high society could leave the country at any moment.

Tension on Colombian Border

The introduction of US military in Colombia is hadly gesture of peace in the area? Wherever US moves its Legions, troubles do follow. Did you know that US Congress passed a resolution accusing Venezuela to support Terrorists? This is
as close to an Ultimatum against Chavez, and for the pro-USA rightists to get rid of him!

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