Government of the United States says Venezuela Should be Honest

by Bolivia Democratica

The government of the United States believes that the complaint lodged by the government of Colombia this Thursday during a special session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), regarding the existence of alleged guerrilla camps in Venezuela "is important information that deserves additional investigation".

"We support what Colombia highlighted during yesterday's session and encourage the establishment of an international verification commission to visit the camps identified within the next thirty days", said Phillip Crowley, Department of State spokesperson.

"We believe Venezuela itself has the responsibility to be honest in responding to the important information presented by Colombia", stated Crowley during the daily Washington press conference.

The spokesperson recalled that Venezuela has international obligations to fight those it qualified as terrorist movements and warned that if the government in Caracas failed to cooperate with this effort, the United States would "take note".

Sudden break in relations

As to the decision to break relations with Colombia, as announced on Thursday afternoon by President Hugo Chávez shortly after the Colombian complaint was lodged, Crowley considered it to be an unfortunate response.

"We would have hoped for a more constructive response from Venezuela. If Venezuela does not cooperate in any of the upcoming steps that will be taken, the United States and other countries will take note of that", he assured, although he did not specify what the steps to be taken would be or to which consequences he was referring.

"Venezuela, among other States in the region, has very clear responsibilities to combat terrorism in the region and to support efforts made within the OAS and the United Nations to combat terrorism wherever it may be", Crowley assured.

The spokesperson recalled that during the past few years, due to the "concerns over connections between Venezuela and the FARC", the government of Caracas has not received the complete certification issued by the Department of State along the way for international efforts against extremism.

As tends to happen when matters of intelligence are involved, the Department of State spokesperson did not comment when asked if the United States had helped compile the data that Colombian Ambassador, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented to the Permanent Council of the OAS.

Although during the session diplomats and experts in military intelligence who were present appeared to be "somewhat disappointed" with the "proof presented", they explained that it would be necessary to analyze it in depth in order to make a determination regarding the quality of said proof.

Date: 24-Jul-2010
This is a translation. Read this article in Spanish here.

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