Speaking on his weekly television show, President Chavez also said Venezuela’s embassy in Colombia would close.
MHugo Chavez ordered tank battalions to the Colombian border and mobilized warplanes on Sunday after Colombian troops struck inside Ecuador in an attack on the FARC terrorists that for years have been launching attacks against government troops and then hide inside the Venezuelan and Ecuadorian borders.
He also ordered the shutting of Venezuela’s embassy in Colombia and the withdrawal of all diplomatic staff in the dispute, warning Colombia’s actions could spark a war in South America. “Mr. Defense Minister, move me 10 battalions to the frontier with Colombia immediately, tank battalions,” Chavez said on his weekly TV show. “The air force should mobilize. We do not want war.”
Chavez also said he would send Russian-made fighter jets into U.S. ally Colombia if its troops struck in Venezuela.
Colombia’s military said on Saturday troops had killed Raul Reyes, a leader of Marxist FARC rebels, during an attack on a jungle camp in Ecuador in a severe blow to Latin America’s oldest guerrilla insurgency. The operation included air strikes and fighting with rebels across the frontier.
Reyes had been accused of drug trafficking and of being involved in at least 57 murders. The United States had offered 5 million dollars for his capture.
On Sunday, Chavez began his TV program wit a minute of silence in honor of the dead narco-terrorist who he considered a “great revolutionary.”
Source: Yahoo! News
Upset at the death of FARC terrorist Raul Reyes at the hands of the Colombian army, Hugo Chávez accused the Colombian president of being a “criminal” and promised to “liberate” the neighboring country.
“The Colombian government has become the Israel of Latin America,” an agitated Chavez said, mentioning another country that he has criticized for its military strikes. “We aren’t going to permit Colombia to become the Israel of these lands.”
Chavez accused Colombian president Alvaro Uribe of being a puppet of Washington and acting on behalf of the U.S. government, saying “Dracula’s fangs are covered in blood.” “Some day Colombia will be freed from the hand of the (U.S.) empire,” Chavez said. “We have to liberate Colombia,” he added.
Source: USA Today
After Saturday’s operation 1.8km (one mile) into Ecuadorean territory, Colombia’s defence minister described the death of Reyes as the “biggest blow so far” to Farc.
But Mr Chavez described the strike as “a cowardly murder, all of it coldly calculated”.
He said Colombia “invaded Ecuador, flagrantly violated Ecuador’s sovereignty”.
Mr Chavez addressed his defence minister, asking him to “move 10 battalions to the border with Colombia for me, immediately” – a deployment likely to involve several thousand soldiers.
Source: BBC News
Hat Tip: Babalu Blog
Related: Paul Reyes on Wikipedia
Related: Gateway Pundit
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**update** 5.46pm Silo Breaker
**update** 6.14pm New York Slimes is reporting Ecuador want some of the action, and are sending troops to their border as well.
Is this merely posturing by Chavez because a fellow thug has been sent to his maker to answer for his crimes, or an attempt to raise the price of oil a little more? Would that Chavez could meet a similar fate.
Web Resources if there is a conflict: