Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez waited an unusually silent 24 hours before congratulating Columbia’s Alvaro Uribe for his daring. The bloodless liberation of Ingrid Betancourt has left Chavez looking like a loser. His insistence on talking with FARC rebels yielded nothing, but Uribe’s hardline paid off.
So it is time for Chavez to jump on the Betancourt bandwagon: “In my point of view, I think the time of guns has passed. We live in a different time, so once again I call on the Colombian guerilla leaders to think it over. I’m sure almost all the countries on this continent, especially those of south America, would be ready to form a group guaranteeing a peace deal.”