Venezuela restores ties with Colombia
Venezuela restored full diplomatic ties with neighbor Colombia after breaking them off following a Colombian attack on a leftist rebel camp in Ecuador.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had ordered the Venezuelan embassy in Bogota closed and sent troops to the Venezuela-Colombia border after Colombia carried out a strike in Ecuador on March 1, killing 25 people.
The situation was largely defused at a summit in the Dominican Republic on Friday, where Chavez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa shook hands with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is supported by the United States. Uribe promised that Colombian forces would never again violate its neighbors’ territory. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry reopened its embassy and allowed back into the country expelled Colombian diplomats.
Tensions remain in the region, however. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, have sought to topple the Colombian government and redistribute wealth for decades. The rebels have expressed affinity for leftist Chavez. Uribe has threatened to bring genocide charges against Chavez for his alleged support of the FARC, who finance their insurgency through kidnapping and cocaine trade.