Simon Romero besmirches himself again

One thing about that Old Grey Lady…she’s one helluva madam. Yes, folks, the NY Times is pimping for Alvaro Uribe again. And look: there’s one of her working girls now, out on the corner…

Tension between Colombia and Venezuela increased Sunday after Colombia’s defense minister rejected an accusation by Venezuela’s government that 60 Colombian troops had illegally entered a border region of Venezuela known to be a redoubt for Colombian guerrilla groups.

Yes, folks, that’s the incomparable Simon Romero again, parading around in his miniskirt and high heels. Give that man a hand for his prowess at handjobbery!

Now, pay close attention, kiddies. Auntie Bina, a true lady despite her natural red hair and her plebeian origins, is about to teach you something about the difference between journalistic credibility and mere prostitution.

First of all, the Colombian army invaded Venezuela. 60 troops. That’s quite an oops. I don’t mean oops as in “oops, we crossed the border by mistake”–more of an “oops, we did it again–invaded a sovereign country on orders from Washington via Bogota, and now the neighbors are onto us!” (Remember, kiddies, they’ve done this time and time again. Rodrigo Granda being just one of the more egregious examples of recent years. They snatched him right off the streets of Caracas without so much as a “Hey Chavez, can we come over and arrest this guy? If not, would you please nab him and hand him over?” That didn’t go over so well in Miraflores.)

And then there’s the language Romero uses: “…known to be a redoubt for Colombian guerrilla groups”. Really? Funny, but the local Venezuelan campesinos didn’t “know” it for any such thing. And they know that patch of dirt like the backs of their hands. There are no FARC encampments there, let alone a “redoubt”. All that’s there are family farms and houses.

This invasion, this violation of sovereignty, isn’t an “accusation by Venezuela’s government”, either. It’s documented fact. Just as it’s a documented fact that Colombia is a repeat offender when it comes to letting its wars spill over onto neighboring countries’ soil, and then, without informing the neighbor governments of its intentions or seeking permission to arrest anyone, it just shoots, bombs and sends commandos in to take whomever it’s after. It also has the audacity to demand “explanations” from those whom it attacks, when in fact it owes them explanations and apologies for attacking them.

Nice of Romero not to mention any of this.

The differing accounts of Colombian troop activity in the area are part of a dispute that has been festering for months. The dispute intensified in March when Venezuela reacted to a Colombian incursion in Ecuador by saying it would respond with military force if Colombia pursued Colombian rebels into Venezuela.

“A dispute that has been festering for months”? Uh, nice job of minimizing things there, Simon. Actually, the Colombian civil war has been going on for some 60 years now. And the fact that it routinely spills over the borders doesn’t cause you any concern, unless the neighboring countries dare to say boo, is really an incredible bit of sangfroid on your part.

Anyone who’s read up on Venezuelan history should know by now that Venezuelan troops have had to be stationed in the border regions for many a decade. Among them was a young army officer named Hugo Chavez. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? His job was making sure that Colombian guerrillas, soldiers and paramilitaries didn’t invade Venezuela or hide out there. This is the same Chavez who later, as duly elected and constitutional president, ordered troops and tanks to the border to guard it against further incursions of the sort. I don’t think he honestly cared whether the invaders were military, paras, FARC or ELN; I do, however, have good reason to believe he has the best interests of his fellow Venezuelans at heart. There have been many cases in recent years where large land-owners in the region have used Colombian mercenaries to kill and menace Venezuelan campesinos trying to farm the land that was redistributed to them by the government of Venezuela. Chavez is trying to make sure no Venezuelan lives get lost to the Colombian conflict, or to the mercenaries it has inevitably spawned. Would that big Venezuelan land-owners were so conscientious, but they see campesinos as essentially disposable. And if the peasants get uppity, it’s off with their heads!

The same is also true of the Venezuelan oligarchy in general. Like Colombia’s narcopresident, they are aligned towards Washington, not their own country. They have no loyalty except to the Yankee greenback. So they have no problem recruiting Colombians to their dubious cause of unseating a democratically elected ruler who does not rule on their behalf but that of all Venezuela.

What amuses me, though, is this:

Tension resurfaced last week after Interpol verified that computer files recovered by Colombian forces in the Ecuadorean raid had not been altered. The files refer to military and financial support by Venezuela of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a group classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

Independent proof of such support has not emerged.

Romero must have hated having to actually write something true for once. There is, indeed, no independent proof that Chavez has been supporting anyone other than those whom he has supported openly. And that would not be the FARC. His most intimate connection to them has consisted merely of negotiating for the release of hostages, preferably in exchange for the release of leftist political prisoners in Colombia. No money or offers of money have been linked to those negotiations.

I bet Romero also soiled himself a bit having to write this:

In the latest episode, Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicolás Maduro, said Saturday night that Colombian troops had been detected Friday in Apure State in western Venezuela, about 875 yards from the Colombian border. In a rare written protest, Mr. Maduro asked Colombia "to immediately cease these violations of international law."

Mr. Maduro said the troops, a battalion from Cubará Military Base in Colombia’s Arauca State, had been quickly told to return to Colombia.

On Sunday the Colombian defense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, denied Mr. Maduro’s assertion. "There was no incursion," Mr. Santos said in comments broadcast on Colombian radio.

"I looked into it and they were not doing anything," Mr. Santos said of the Colombian troops.

But the Venezuelan information minister, Andrés Izarra, contended Sunday on state television in Caracas that Venezuela had photographs of the incursion.

This should make Romero throw up in his mouth a little:

Video in Spanish, from VTV’s current affairs talk show, “Dando y Dando”. Communications minister Andres Izarra and former oil minister Ali Rodriguez join hosts Tania Diaz and Aristobulo Isturiz to unravel the Colombian lies. I wonder if Simon Romero has seen this; somehow, I doubt he has.

“Not doing anything”, eh? No, of course they weren’t. They were just invading Venezuela, no biggie–nothing they hadn’t done before, many many many times. I guess, if you’re a Colombian defence minister, “not doing anything” means something most people wouldn’t think it meant. And if you write for the New York Times, your job is not to question or investigate such preposterous statements, but simply dutifully take down whatever you are told by the Powers That Be–whether in Washington or Bogota.

Or to do for fascist Colombian presi
dents what Monica did for Bill Clinton; same thing.

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