Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama and Colombia

Although it seems totally nuts, there is now a non-negligible chance that Venezuela and Ecuador will start a war with Colombia. A crisis has erupted after Colombia killed the number two leader of the FARC guerrilla group, on the Ecuadorean border. Here is Obama's statement on the matter:

The Colombian people have suffered for more than four decades at the hands of a brutal terrorist insurgency, and the Colombian government has every right to defend itself against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The recent targeted killing of a senior FARC leader must not be used as a pretense to ratchet up tensions or to threaten the stability of the region. The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have a responsibility to ensure that events not spiral out of control, and to peacefully address any disputes through active diplomacy with the help of international actors.

This hits the right notes, supporting the Colombian government and urging diplomacy. Clinton, McCain, and the Bush administration have made similar statements. I wonder, though, what Bush is going to do (and what the candidates will say) if Ecuador and Venezuela attacks Colombia and Colombia asks for U.S. military support.

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