Former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe said Friday in Miami that the “dictatorship” of President Hugo Chávez turned Venezuela into a “drug haven” and protector of the guerrillas that perpetrated a terrorist attack in Bogotá on Tuesday.
“Under Chavez’s dictatorship, Venezuela has become a drug haven,” said Uribe during a luncheon at the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the Cuban American National Council (CNC) in Miami on Friday. Uribe delivered his speech on the Latin American economic and social situation before a number of business leaders, AFP reported.
“The year after (flight) interception was implemented in Colombia, the UN radar showed that most illegal flights had left the airspace of Colombia and had gone to Venezuela s airspace,” Uribe told reporters after his speech.
“Every day we learn about the growing presence of drug trafficking in Venezuela,” said Uribe, who harshly criticized the superb diplomatic relations between the administrations of Presidents Juan Manuel Santos and Hugo Chávez.
“I am concerned that the current government of Colombia, rather than fighting terror with a firm determination, is looking for a mediation of the government of Venezuela, of Venezuela’s dictatorship, to negotiate with terrorism,” said Uribe, who ruled between 2002 and 2006 and was reelected for the 2006-2010 period.
“We know that the dictatorship of Venezuela is an accesory to terrorism. Why would someone look for the accesory of terrorism as a mediator to negotiate with him? And what are they going to negotiate with terrorism? In a democratic country, all you have to do is defeat terrorism,” said Uribe, openly questioning President Santos.
The Colombian president focused much of his speech and a subsequent meeting with the press on criticizing “Chávez’s dictatorship,” as he referred to the Venezuelan president at all times.
“When you have a government that expropriates private firms, that wastes resources, and that disrespects freedom of the press (…) a government under which justice is rigged and put to the service of crime, you have a government that is not democratic, but a dictatorship in the guise of elections,” Uribe said when asked why he publicly defined President Chávez as a dictator.