CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez called Sunday on Venezuelan soldiers and civilians who support him to prepare for war, after warning the governments of Colombia and the United States that Venezuelans are “ready for anything.”
Chavez issued the strong warning after adopting the view of former Cuban President Fidel Castro that the United States annexed Colombia with the treaty those two nations recently signed allowing U.S. soldiers to use military bases in the neighboring South American country.
“Let them not make a mistake, because we (Venezuelans) are ready for anything,” Chavez remarked, thereby implicitly ruling out his acceptance of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s offer to try and arrange a meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
“One must speak with love and therefore I say to the (U.S.) president, (Barack) Obama: don’t make a mistake and order an open attack on Venezuela using Colombia,” said the Venezuelan leader on his Sunday radio and television program “Alo Presidente.”
Before shouting “Fatherland, socialism or death,” Chavez ordered members of the armed forces “to prepare yourselves for war as the best way to avoid it.”
“This world is infected by the virus of the terrible disease of violence by the most powerful against the weakest,” he said, adding that “many people have been having illusions” of change in the United States with the coming of Obama to the presidency.
“We were always cautious about the triumph of President Obama. Early on, we began to take note of the truth, that the empire is here, alive and more threatening than ever,” Chavez said.
Although Chavez did not allude explicitly to the desire of Lula to set up a meeting between him and Uribe, he emphasized that the Brazilian president recently said in Britain that “the only thing that’s been seen about Obama is the coup in Honduras and the seven military bases” in Colombia that will be able to be used by the U.S. military.
The Colombian government “transferred itself to the United States. This must be known. Regrettably, it’s this way, it’s sad and painful, but this is the way it is,” Chavez said, adding that “Colombia surrendered; not the people but rather the government, the oligarchy, without shame or anything. Before, they put on the mask, now they’ve removed the mask.”