Tensions Rise in South America

On Wednesday, Venezuela sent tanks, air, and sea forces to the Columbian border in response to Columbian raiding parties crossing into Ecuador, a Venezuelan ally. Military analysts estimate up to 200 tanks have been mobilized.

Columbia, a country which receives billions of dollars of military aid from the U.S., chastised Ecuador and Venezuela for harboring leftist rebels. Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman has labeled these rebels terrorists, while George W. Bush has publicly backed Columbia in the dispute.

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President, seen above, accused Bush of staging a proxy war against his country through Columbia. Chavez, who has been attempting to move his country in a socialist direction, has been a staunch critic of the United States, going so far as to compare Bush to the devil at the United Nations in 2006.

This is a situation where effects could reach the United States very easily. Venezuela, despite the combative nature of its President, is the United States third largest supplier of oil. Both Ecuador and Venezuela are members of OPEC, and Columbia’s ties to the U.S. could lead to American military intervention.

Venezuela mobilized forces to Columbian border— [Reuters]

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