Chávez Spat with Uribe Damages Colombia’s Democratic Left

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — If there is any beneficiary of the recent breakdown of Hugo Chávez’s mediation for a Colombian hostage exchange, it may well be the Venezuelan president himself. He was able to use Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, the man who revoked his mediation mandate, as a foil for his populist rhetoric. Ever the able opportunist, Chávez thereby distracted from internal problems by manufacturing an external enemy — though he still could not win Venezuela’s recent constitutional reform referendum. In Colombia, however, the scenario resulting from this presidential spat is bleak: primarily for the hostages who look set to remain […]

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