They can’t blame THIS on Hugo Chavez…

…because it’s not happening anywhere near his turf:

Ecuador says it is investigating what it describes as a violation of its airspace by the Colombian military.

Defence Minister Oswaldo Jarrin said a Colombian aircraft had been picked up by Ecuadorean radar at the weekend.

Colombia denied over flying Ecuadorean territory, but said the aircraft had been deployed after an attack by rebels, who then escaped into Ecuador.

It is the latest of a series of incidents along the border that have provoked diplomatic tension.

Colombia has been fighting an offensive by the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Farc, in the region.

Last month, the government of Bogota issued an apology after one of its aircraft “accidentally” entered Ecuador’s airspace in an operation against Farc rebels.

Ecuador responded by stepping up radar surveillance along the 580km (360m) border the two countries share.

Colombian and Ecuadorean officials will discuss the issue at a meeting of military officials on Tuesday.

Ecuador has remained neutral in Colombia’s struggle against a 41-year-old Marxist insurgency, despite requests for assistance.

Remember how some claimed that Hugo Chavez was supporting the FARC–to the point of contributing Venezuelan troops to support their cause? That’s a dirty lie, just so’s you know–he simply put his own army on the Colombia/Venezuela border so as to contain any guerilla war spillover. It’s called keeping the peace at home, duh.

Ditto the abduction of Rodrigo Granda of the FARC from the streets of Caracas; that was a distinct violation of Venezuelan sovereignty, backed by the US if not orchestrated outright, with the intent of provoking an international incident. To Chavez’s credit and BushCo’s disappointment, no such thing happened. What’s truly embarrassing, though–at least for Chavez’s detractors–is the ample evidence that FARC sympathizes with the Bolivarian Revolution, rather than the other way ’round.

Anyhow, here’s one Colombian problem they definitely can’t hang on Chavez’s neck. Colombia’s civil war is a problem for ALL her neighbors, not just Venezuela. But I’m sure they’ll find some reason to try to depose Ecuador’s president, all the same. He’s not exactly a US toady, either.

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