Andean Crisis deepens further
Tuesday, 04 March 2008
Venezuelan soldiers Ecuador and Venezuela have severed all ties with Colombia, escalating a dispute that erupted after Colombia sent troops into Ecuador in a raid that killed a leading FARC rebel. Colombia fueled tensions further by claiming Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez provided $300 million for Colombia's Marxist rebels.

Chavez denies the charge as his troops stand ready at the border with Colombia. Caracas has already warned Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe that any incursion into Venezuela could bring about war. A spokesperson for the Colombian government made the following comments; "The (Colombian) government expresses its concerns over possible agreements that could exist between the FARC terrorist group and the governments of Ecuador and Venezuela that violate the international norms that prohibit countries from harboring terrorists."

President of Ecuador Rafeal Correa and his government rejected the accusations as the three nation crises deepens. The slain FARC commander Raul Reyes had been involved in talks with Venezuela, France and Ecuador to win freedom for a number of hostages held for years in FARC'S jungle camps.

It was Chavez who brokered the talks, securing the release of six captives since the beginning of the year. 

Ecuador and Venezuela have already sent over 30,000 soldiers to Colombia's border. Due to this crisis oil prices are expected to go higher.


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