The Corner

Chavez vs. Us — and Who Should Be Our Allies


Last week, [Colombia’s defense minister Gabriel Silva] released a statement accusing Venezuela of failing to tackle international drug routes.

He said there was “almost a free traffic” of flights loaded with drugs from Venezuelan territory.

The bad feeling between the Venezuelan and the Colombian governments has been kept under control by a mutual silence for several weeks now, but it only takes a small event for it to erupt into insults again.

In this instance, the Colombian defence minister’s comments were more than enough.

On his Alo Presidente programme, Mr Chavez gave a typically damning response.

“The Colombian defence minister? I think he’s mentally retarded,” he said.

He added that the only explanation for his behaviour was that he was “following instructions from the empire”, referring to the US.