By now talk of Venezuelan military purchases from
Echoes of war between the two countries resound more in Chavez’s rhetoric and Colombian newspapers than they do in the offices of
In a recent conversation, he mentioned that when you’ve got two neighbors with one – Venezuela - that allegedly supplies arms and ammunition to the guerrilla army of the other – the FARC in Colombia – you’ve got a tense situation, one that is not present anywhere else in the world, save sections of Africa, and maybe the Middle East.
On top of that, add Chavez’s rhetoric, and the possibility of both Venezuelan and Colombian troop presence on a shared border known to be, in large swathes, FARC-controlled territory. In a dense forest, where a gun shot could come from any one of the three groups, causing an immediate reaction, it is not a far stretch to see how the current echoes of war could descend to something quite different.
Chavez’s announced trip to
The Varshavianka-class submarine is a patrol submarine capable of taking out targets on land, on the surface or underwater. Along with the purchase of three submarines, Chavez will discuss his long-term plans to purchase another hundred patrol boats of various sizes.
Currently Colombian officials assert little worry over Chavez’s war-mongering. Claims that his speeches are designed to keep Venezuelans focus away from many domestic problems may be accurate for now. But the day may come when the Venezuelan military could pose a serious threat to
As usual, it will be the citizens of both countries that will suffer, especially along the border where the local economy is so closely tied together that even slight interruptions of cross-border traffic is enough to cause a small violent outbreaks on a local level. Problem is, such a small spark might be all it takes to set fire to a much larger conflict.