Friday, July 23, 2010

Could Venezuela Go to War With Colombia?

With Hugo Chavez having broken off diplomatic ties with Colombia I wonder if it won't be long before Venezuela launches a war against its neighbor.

I happen to be in my hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Today, the 2010 IBAF World Junior Baseball Championships got underway here. Conspicious by their absence is Venezuela whose team abruptly withdrew from the tournament yesterday.

Venezuela has not explained the reason for its absence. Supposedly there were logistical problems with travel and visas. But this seems strange given that Venezuela has sent teams to play in international competition for years. Venezuela is also baseball crazy. It doesn't make sene that they would miss a tournament they had a good chance of winning. That is, unless, something big is happening at home.

I have a funny feeling Chavez is trying to get every available male back into the country so it marshal its forces against Colombia. Colombia has accused Chavez of harboring FARC terrorists and its Ambassador to the OAS submitted evidence to that body in support of their assertions the same day Chavez broke off relations.

Of course, relations between Colombia and Venezuela have been delicate for several years now. In fact, Venezuela amassed troops on the Colombian border in both March 2008 and November 2009. One could argue this is nothing more than more sabre rattling on the part of Chavez. But that Venezuela would both formally cut diplomatic ties with Colombia and withdraw its team from an international baseball tournament tell me something very different. Unless I am very wrong, I believe war is coming to South America.

UPDATE: While attending this afternoon's game between the United States and Australia, it was announced that Venezuela would be participating in the tournament after all. So perhaps there were logistical problems after all. But this development doesn't alleviate the tension between Venezuela and Colombia.

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