Pepe Escobar: Tension grows between Colombia, Venezuela and EcuadorThursday March 6th, 2008
Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pepe Escobar writes The Roving Eye for Asia Times Online. He has reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China. He is the author of the recently published Red Zone Blues. Pepe is a regular analyst for The Real News Network.
Plan Colombia: The Real Destabilizing Force in South America
by Carlos Martinez
Global Exchange Venezuela Program
March 4th 2008
In surveying US press coverage of the recent tensions between Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela one might come to the conclusion that Colombia has become the victim of the wrath of its’ evil next door neighbor, Hugo Chavez. Once again, the media spin machine has been turned against Venezuela, bypassing a contextual analysis of the situation for a simplistic story line. With headlines such as, “Chavez Picks a New Fight” (Business Week March 4, 2008) the story perpetuates the US government’s claims that Venezuela is a destabilizing force in the region while ignoring the alarming actions perpetrated by the Colombian government.
While Chavez has certainly made it easy for international attention to be focused on his actions, the lack of coverage on the response of other South American presidents is disconcerting. The most egregious example of this blind spot is with Ecuador itself, the country whose territory was trespassed in Colombia’s attacks. The protests raised by Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa have been sorely under reported in comparison to Chavez’s response, potentially leaving one with the impression that Ecuador does not consider Colombia’s actions to be of major concern.
Nor is it being acknowledged that this is not the first time Ecuador has suffered the negative consequences of Colombia’s war on “narco-terrorism” as articulated through Plan Colombia. For years the northern region of Ecuador has been subject to tremendous contamination of legal crops, animals, and whole communities as a result of aerial herbicide spraying of coca crops in Colombia.