Caracas, Jan 27, 2005 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- Andean Community Secretary General, Allan Wagner, urged the United States not to interfere in the diplomatic crisis between Venezuela and Colombia over the kidnapping of Colombian guerrilla member Rodrigo Granda in Caracas last December.
“I have observed with preoccupation, some statements by U.S. spokespersons, and I think it is important that the United States observe non-interference in the process we are going through,” Wagner told journalists after a meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez this Wednesday.
U.S. officials have expressed support for Colombia’s view of the events, and U.S. State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli acknowledged U.S. involvement “to the extent that we help provide information and share information.”
President Hugo Chavez had accused the U.S. of being behind the crisis through their Plan Colombia, in an effort to derail Latin American integration.
Although Granda was not wanted by Interpol, the U.S. State Department demanded an explanation from Venezuelan President Chavez as to why he permitted a high-level official of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to move freely within Venezuelan territory and to obtain a passport. According to Venezuelan officials, a request for criminal records to Interpol prior to issuing him Venezuelan citizenship turned out negative. Colombia had never requested Granda’s detention. The guerilla activist had entered Venezuela in several opportunities before Hugo Chavez came to power, traveled more than 200 times outside of Colombia -according to Colombian authorities-, and had lived in several Latin American countries.
The Andean Community confirmed a meeting of Latin American Foreign Ministers in Lima, Peru, to be held this Thursday, at which a space will be provided for Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez and Colombia Foreign Minister Carolina Barco, can meet to hold talks regarding the crisis.
Andean Community Secretary General, Allan Wagner, urged caution in these types of situations “to evaluate the issues, verify the high amount of information that is circulating around, and which not always reflects reality, so that the necessary spaces can be opened for diplomacy to function.”Statements “not constructive”
Former Colombian Ambassador to Venezuela, German Bula Escobar, said during an interview at a local TV station that the statements by U.S. officials are not constructive, amount to noise rather than help, and allow for speculations about certain interests by third parties.
Bula said that in contrast, both Brazil and Peru have played a mediating role without imposing their views.
He said that both Venezuela and Colombia’s government have made mistakes in the handling of the crisis.