IR Term Paper 2 - Tensions between Venezuela and Colombia...

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Tensions between Venezuela and Colombia, July 2009-present Gaurav Singh International Relations Term Paper Professor David Mislan December 10, 2009
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What is the shared problem? Diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Colombia has been threatened in the recent past. “No two leaders in Latin America mistrust each other more than leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and conservative Colombian President Alvaro Uribe” (Brodzinsky, & Llana, 2009, p6, 1p). There have been many allegations that Venezuela “supports Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC” (Wilpert, 2009, p3-3, 1p). Despite repeated denials by Chavez, Venezuelan officials have assisted commanders of Colombia’s FARC, “helping them arrange weapons deals in Venezuela, even providing identity cards to easily travel across borders” (Romero, 2009). Perhaps even more troublesome for Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan democracy is that Colombia has recently opened its borders for the United States to use their military bases. “The relationship between the Andean presidents, always tense, has been in a down-spiral since Colombia announced a plan in July to grant US troops expanded access to its bases” (Brodzinsky, & Llana, 2009, p6, 1p). Realism is predicated on the idea that states are concerned with national interests and that power guides their policy decisions. This kind of thinking is exactly what is occurring between the two states; they are in the early stages of conflict, leading to inevitable war. “Chavez says the agreement could set the stage for a U.S. invasion of oil-rich Venezuela, a claim that Washington and Bogota dismiss. He calls Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ‘a traitor’ to the region for signing the deal” (Boadle, & Wilson, 2009). Colombia, and especially Venezuela are characterized by the Realist paradigm as being preoccupied with their own well being, hesitant but not afraid to engage in conflict. Both states have entered into the realm of “power politics, an arena of rivalry, conflict and war between
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