Esta fue la respuesta de una importante política colombiana ante la inquietud generada por las compras militares de Venezuela.
Se puede ver en www.thedialogue.org en la edición del Latin America Advisor del Interamerican Dialogue que saldrá mañana:
Spain and Venezuela on Monday signed a deal under which Venezuela would buy from Spain $1.56 billion worth of military equipment--eight patrol boats and 12 transport aircraft--despite US objections. What is the significance of the arms deal? Are US concerns that the sale could be a "destabilizing factor" in Latin America justified?
"Hugo Chavez believes that the military support Colombia has received from the US through the Plan Colombia has distorted the delicate regional military balance, alteration which justifies his recent military acquisitions. These acquisitions include not only the 8 patrol boats and the 12 transport aircrafts purchased from Spain, but also 100,000 AK 103 standard and AK 104 compact rifles—rifles that, coincidentally, happen to use the same ammunition as the FARC—, 40 Russian military helicopters, and 12 Super Tucan airplanes from Brazil, among others. However, the truth is that the money from Plan Colombia, regardless of what many believe, cannot be destined to buy military equipment and can only be used on foot operations against drug traffic and on counterinsurgency.
Experts say that Chavez’s attitude is very aggressive and could lead to a regional arms race featuring Venezuela and Colombia, but the truth is Colombia is absolutely overwhelmed by its internal problems and does not have the resources to respond to Chavez’s purchases should there be a bellicose attitude on his part. However, Chavez’s and Uribe’s recent encounters have been very friendly, and this scenario is very unlikely.
Nonetheless, both governments should work in the development of measures in order to strengthen mutual trust, such as the participation of a third party in order to control the final destination of the new military equipment and of the ammunition designed for the AK rifles to avoid that these end up in the wrong hands outside of the institutional public forces. Additionally, it would be very valuable if both presidents publicly state that the development of an arms race between Colombia and Venezuela is not possible, since there is nothing more inconvenient than an armed conflict between these two countries."