Thursday, April 15, 2010

Colombia to its citizens: do not go to Venezuela! Bonus: Samper's idiocy

In what is becoming a farcical vaudeville, dead serious but farcical nevertheless, the Colombian government issued a traveler advisory against Venezuela, a first for us and probably a first between South American countries.  Let's just say that a travel advisory warning between Venezuela and Colombia ten years ago would have been as unthinkable as a travel advisory warning between Canada and the US today.  If anything because nearly impossible to enforce.


But Chavez happened and today not only Colombians are warned not to go to Venezuela if they can help it, but it might be actually easy to enforce as the Venezuelan government goes out of his way to end any contact with Colombia, though not with the FARC it seems if we are to believe international information on this respect (will I go to jail for writing this last few words?).  Last night on TV we learned that already the little bit of tourism from Colombia to Venezuela had dropped about 30%  this year.  Even less Colombians to Margarita...

The thing is that at least up to a point, let's not forget that Uribe's government loves to use Venezuela and Chavez as punching balls for their own political objectives, Bogota is right.  The chavista hysteria has not only refused the offer of electricity from Colombia but is now trying to pretend that our electricity crisis is also due to sabotage from Colombian infiltrated agents.  If you are a Colombian tourist and carry a camera, well, it can be enough for you to end in jail as a spy if you are at the wrong place and time, say, visiting an artificial dam...

All this is well and nice but Uribe's people must also count on the idiots their side such as ex president Samper whose tenure was a permanent narco-scandal.  The guy states, without laughing I presume, that relations might get worse after that.  No kidding!  Or rather, how do you define worse?  He bemoans the fate of the million or so Colombians living here.  What about us Venezuelans living here, submitted to the same vexations as Colombian immigrants such as high crime, food scarcity and collapsing public services?  Is Samper also worried about liberty and freedom in Venezuela?  It would seem not, that in fact Samper in past months has been looking suspiciously as a cryptic allied of Chavez, probably never forgiving those who called him a narco-president.  Birds of a feather......

Beyond the chutzpah of Samper the fact of the matter is that Colombia/Venezuela relationship is bent on deterioration.  After all Colombia's economy keeps prospering while the Venezuelan one keeps sinking.  It creates an envy and resentment that never helps, the more so that it looks that the Venezuela trade end is being overcame faster than what people expected.  In Venezuela now we are often out of food staples that depend in part of Colombian supply (yogurt, for me in particular).  But Colombia seems getting well out of the world crisis, with new acquired international respect now that Uribe cannot run for a third term.  I agree with Gerbasi, it probably does not matter who wins Colombia presidential election of next June: as long as Chavez is president relations with Colombia will never be good.

PS:  there are also the idiots on the Venezuelan side such as the ineffable Gabriela Ramirez, the nation's ombudsman, with a severe paranoia case, much more vocal about what is not her business than the Venezuelan crime crisis she should be worrying about.

1 comment:

  1. Boludo Tejano4:16 PM

    After all Colombia's economy keeps prospering while the Venezuelan one keeps sinking.

    True enough.The irony about comparing ColOmbia and Venezuela these days is that until very recently Colombia suffered by comparison to Venezuela. The million Colombians in Venezuela are testament to that.

    it probably does not matter who wins Colombia presidential election of next June: as long as Chavez is president relations with Colombia will never be good
    Thugo would have a VERY good relationship with Colombia were Piedad Cordoba in charge there. Of course, that occurring is as likely as Thugo letting RCTV back on the air.

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