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Venezuela: Agreement Reached in Santo Domingo

Editor's Note: Kira Kariakin and Laura Vidal contributed to this article.

The gathering of Latin American presidents from the Rio Summit, which took place in the capital city of the Dominican Republic, has become one of the most impactful meetings for the integration of the continent. The previous agenda was not followed because three countries were in conflict. Instead of important discussions regarding energy and petroleum, cooperation and poverty and other issues typical of these meetings, the eyes and voices of the continent was in charge of stopping the escalation of a regional conflict with an unpredictable end.

The three countries, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela had three political and military actions during the week and with three presidents with different personalities and objectives. What was once a single republic between 1819 and 1831 and founded by Simón Bolívar is now divided into three, and with territories in a more cultural, rather than administrative sense.

The debate in Santo Domingo was long, filled with emotion, and conducted well by the leaders of the region in attendance. The primary topic, which took precedence over any other topic on each president's agenda: peace is needed in Colombia in order to construct peace in South America.

Ecuador reclaimed its sovereignty. Colombia reclaimed its right to defend its people from insurgent, armed and narcotrafficking groups that have been attacking them for decades. And Venezuela is counting on negogiating the release of those kidnapped by the FARC through political means, and not through arms, as well as an end to an internal war that has not been resolved for 60 years in Colombia. That is why Chávez felt attacked by the assasination of the guerrilla leader Raúl Reyes, who acted as negotiator for these deals.

Santo Domingo served as a stage to present positions and create compromises for governability and unite forces for the construction of peace in the region. The blogosphere also served as a stage for Venezuelan bloggers to express their thoughts on the brewing conflict.

The prospect of war with neighboring Colombia was not very appealing and Liberal Venezolano [es] writes:

Venezuela no está en condiciones, ni militares ni económicas, para enfrentar un conflicto bélico con Colombia, ni con nadie más si a ver vamos. Con una economía que no es capaz, bajo el peso del yugo socialista chavecista, de proveerse internamente de manera decente, no hace falta ser un genio para concluir que una confrontación bélica, incluso de escala moderada, sería catastrófica para Venezuela y más bien podría causar la caída del propio Chávez, derribado por quienes hasta ahora han sido sus mejores aliados: los más pobres, quienes están descontentos ya de por sí con la situación económica actual.

Venezuela is in no position, neither in militarily, nor economically, to face a bellicose conflict with Colombia, not even with anyone else. With an incapable economy, under the weight of the Chavista socialist yoke, it doesn't take a genius to conlude that a confrontation, even a moderate one, would be catastrophic for Venezuela and could even cause the fall of Chávez himself, caused by those who have been his strongest supporters: the poorest, who are discontent already with the current economic situation.

Slave to the PC [es] agrees:

Hugo Rafael no quiero tu guerra, primero y ante todo porque no es mía, este país que tanto amo llamado Venezuela no ha sido atacado por nadie, ni violada su soberanía, nuestro líderes no han sufrido atentado alguno y nuestra independencia como nación autónoma sigue intacta, por lo tanto no tengo razón alguna para participar en un enfrentamiento armado donde no se han medido las consecuencias para el continente, los pueblos afectados directamente y sus modos de vida. ¿Cuál es el empeño de inmiscuirse en asuntos colombianos constantemente?, ¿Qué se busca con los insultos hacia el presidente colombiano Álvaro Uribe?,¿Cuál es la hipocresía de andar hablando de violaciones de soberanía, cuando Venezuela y Ecuador son oasis para los guerrilleros colombianos?, ¿Qué se persigue con un estado de guerra en nuestro país?, la situación es critica mis querido amigos, estamos a las puertas de un conflicto que costaría muy caro a los países implicados, sensatez es el nombre del juego.

Hugo Rafael, I don't want your war, first and above all, because it is not my war. This country called Venezuela, which I love, was not attacked by anybody or its sovereignty was violated. Our leaders did not suffer an attack and our indpedence as autonomous nation remains intact. Because of that I have no reason to participate in armed conflict in which the consequences for the continent, the people direcly affected and their lifestyle have not been measured. What is the insistence in constantly meddling in the affairs of Colombia? What do you hope to acheive with the insults towards the Colombian president Álvaro Uribe? What is the hypocrisy when speaking about violations of sovereignty, when Venezuela and Ecuador are an oasis for the Colombian guerrillas? Why are you seeking a state of war in our country? The situation is critical, my dear friends, we are close to a conflict that will be very costly for the countries involved. Common sense is the name of the game.

Rom Rod [es] does not understand the support for the FARC by the Venezuelan government.

Pero siguen en pie preguntas que parece que nadie en nuestro gobierno quiere responder. El para que es la movilización militar. Que es lo que realmente se pretende con ella. El por que si nuestro gobierno está claramente apoyando a un grupo con tenebrosos antecedentes como las FARC, pasando por encima del pueblo colombiano que eligió a Uribe…Me parece algo sencillamente siniestro apoyar a un grupo insurgente de otro país simplemente porque no me gusta su gobierno.

The questions remain, which no one in our government want to respond. What is the reason for the military mobilization? What is really accomplished with it? Our government is clearly supporting a group like the FARC, with a sinister record, overstepping the Colombian people tht elected Uribe…It is sinister to support an insurgent group from another country simply because one doesn't like their government.

Explíkme [es] wonders about how the relations between the two countries might be affected.

Nuestro gobierno no tiene idea del daño político, democrático, comercial y económico que nos está ocasionando, Venezuela tiene un alto número de Colombianos residentes que contribuyen a nuestro desarrollo, además de todo el intercambio comercial a través de convenios y el que se hace en la frontera, que ya ha empezado a paralizarse y que le puede costar al aparato productivo binacional una gran pérdida que puede llegar a ser irrecuperable.

Our government has no idea of the political, democratic, commerical and economic damage that they are causing. Venezuela has a large number of Colombian residents that contribute to our evelopment, and above all, the commercial exchange through agreements and what takes place on the border has begun to stop and it could cost the bi-national productive apparatus a large economic lost, which could be irretrievable.

Other bloggers think that the Venezuelan government should be concentrating on other things, such as internal issues. Manuel Miranda writes [es]:

Hugo Chávez y sus seguidores andan agitando los tambores de la guerra con Colombia, cuando la verdadera guerra es interna, el implacable enemigo se llama inflación y el gobierno está perdiendo todas las batallas en este frente desde que tengo uso de la memoria…El Banco Central de Venezuela publicó ayer el IPC del mes de febrero (la medida preferida de inflación del BCV), el cual vino 2,3% más alto que en enero y ya acumula una variación de 5,8% en lo que va de año. Por estas mismas fechas el año pasado, la inflación acumulada era de 3,4%; lo cual es un mal augurio para la fantasiosa meta inflacionaria del gobierno… La verdadera guerra es contra la inflación… Y la estamos perdiendo

Hugo Chávez and his followers are banging the drums of war with Colomba, when the real war is internal. The relentless enemy is called inflation and the government is losing all of the battles on this front, and it has been this way as far back as I can remember…Yesterday, the Central Bank of Venezuela published the IPC for the month of February (the preferred measure of inflation from the CBV) and it was 2.3% higher than January and already has risen 5.8% since the beginning of the year. This time, last year, the inflation was at 3.4%, which is a bad sign for the fantasy goal of inflation of the government…. The real war is against inflation … and we are losing.

Finally, some bloggers like Carla Mariela of ICARO [es] wanted to send messages to the people of the three countries involved in this tension.

bola2.jpg

Amigo colombiano, ecuatoriano y venezolano:
Vamos a demostrar que los lazos que unen a nuestros pueblos de Ecuador, Colombia y Venezuela son más fuertes que los egos de nuestros gobernantes.
Vamos a demostrar que condenamos el terrorismo y respetamos la soberanía
Vamos a demostrar que ningún gobierno nos va obligar a dispararle a un hermano de nuestros países.
Vamos a demostrar que somos más, muchos más los que no concebimos a Latinoamérica en guerra
Vamos a demostrar que pese a la historia, no estamos condenados a ella
Vamos a demostrar que nuestras diferencias son nuestro valor, que nuestra diversidad es nuestra riqueza
Vamos a demostrar que hoy germina una generación que anhela crecer en paz
“Pasa la voz, pasa la bola”
Sugerimos que si quieres multiplicar el poder de este mensaje, puedes copiarlo en tu blog, reenviarlo por Facebook y a través de mensajes de correo electrónico

Colombian, Ecuadoran and Venezuelan Friends:
Let's show that the bonds that unite the people of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela are stronger than the egos of our leaders.
Let's show that we condemn terrorism and respect sovereignty
Let's show that no government will force us to shoot another countryman of our countries.
Let's show that we are more, many more of us that don't imagine a Latin America in war
Let's show that in spite of history, we are not condemned to it
Let's show that our differences are valuable, and that our diversity is our treasure
Let's show that today a generation blooms, that longs to grow up in peace
“Pass the ball, pass your voice”
We suggest that if you wish to multiply the power of this message, copy it in your blog, forward it on at Facebbok, and through emails.

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