What Responsibilities Do Ecuador and Venezuela Have To Fight Terrorism on Their Borders?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 11, 2008
Ecuadorean Soldiers Arriving in Border Area

When asked a question last week about the recent border clashes over terrorist activities by the FARC, Secretary Rice said "Colombia's a good friend. I do hope that there will be a diplomatic outcome to this. The Organization of American States has been involved and we have been involved, bilaterally, the regional states have been involved; but of course it shows that everyone needs to be vigilant about the use of border areas by terrorist organizations like FARC.

What responsibilities do Ecuador and Venezuela have to fight terrorism on their borders?

Comments

Comments

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 11, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

MAR 6 -- DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Michael J. Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrest of Victor Bout, an international arms dealer charged with conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the "FARC") -- a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia. Bout and co-defendant Andrew Smulian were arrested yesterday on the U.S. charges by Thai authorities in Bangkok.

According to court documents, between November 2007 and February 2008, Bout and Smulian agreed to sell to the FARC millions of dollars worth of weapons including surface-to-air missile systems (SAMs) and armor piercing rocket launchers. During a series of recorded telephone calls and emails, Bout and Smulian agreed to sell the weapons to two confidential sources (CSs) working with the DEA, who held themselves out as FARC representatives acquiring these weapons for the FARC for use in Colombia.

Considering the effort of the US in trying to manage limitation of arms, I see no reason for them manage their borders more effectually.

The biggest problem is in the FARC culture which is established in all the small towns and villages throughout both countries. Everything from foodstuffs to policing of the areas is controlled by the FARC. With limited funds and unlimited natural resources for cocaine production, many people depend on the cocaine trade and even to this day purchase groceries with past by weight. It is normal daily activities for the citizens.

For the government to delete both protection and livelihoods without replacing the security of the FARC, it is all but impossible for them to make a difference in that regard. By using the United States resources, they become a third party to it all and evade their real responsibilities to the people. There is also the headset that most of the money which comes for arms and training is a result of the cocaine trade and the US is the largest user of the commodity, therefore, we are the problem.

It's a difficult issue when the responsibility game comes into play within a culture dependent on both sides by the United States. It is not a simple problem as it is multi dimensional and the same which exist in Afghanistan. It shows the importance of infrastructure which supports the population in a productive nature.

Stephen C.
|
New Jersey, USA
March 11, 2008

Stephen in New Jersey writes:

All countries are responsible for activities occurring within their borders. If they can not control people in their country, or who use their country as sanctuary, then the neighboring country has every right to protect itself. There should be no line that a country can't cross in pursuit of terrorists that have attacked and harmed their citizens. This includes Columbia, Israel, Turkey and The Unites States. We should have one rule for the pursuit of murderers who use another country for shelter.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 11, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

It's always entertaining to watch Washington tell Chavez how to run his country. Hugo does not view FARC as a terrorist group. He believes the Bush Administration to be a terrorist group. So either his perception or ours must change before we offer to show him how, when, and where to fight "terrorism".

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

You mean Putins puppet and the Great Castros lap dog Chavez Zharkov?

If he actually had a brain that wasn't wasted on the cocaine he enjoys for free from the FARC, perhapss he would realize that he could sell petrol for over .50 a gallon at his Shell stations across America and actually show that he does have power.

He's a joke waiting to pass on and away. He has lost his base within his country so all he does have left is the FARC and terrorism...as he started out. He did kill 110 people in a small village, including women and childern. Nice guy...wonderful leader.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 12, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- The concept all arms merchants fail to grasp is that there will be no place to spend the profits when there's no one left to buy the weapons.

Steven
|
United States
March 12, 2008

Steven in U.S.A. writes:

This is an interesting situation with less than solid national borders. Ecuador has no less than a symbiotic relationship with FARC. Venezuela has made it clear that FARC is throughly supported by their governance. Colombia on the other hand is working towards suppression and removal of FARC.

It is absolutely clear in that FARC is a terrorist or dangerous criminal organization. Colombia's reactions were natural given the situation. But vigilance is definitely important here. Continual encroachment on Colombia cannot be resolved by a vigilant defense alone.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I don't know why there is a transposition of wording at times... but:

1. Chavez could sell oil at .50 cents a gallon LOWER and have OPEC at his doorstep. It would be a move of Power. Heãs too insecure and ignorant to do so or working with Russia in an overall economical devaluation of the US dollar. Gee, it's not rocket science.

On Stevens response: You are correct in the border lines. It's jungle to begin with in many places or inhabited for the most part; but, it is an established cultural related to basic existence of human beings more than anything else. Human existence is directly related to the main financial resource of the FARC: Narcotics. Where there was once fear and unorganized small villages raided by various groups along all the borders, the FARC represent unity, law and order of a nature not in existence for decades. If you can't do replacement values to human existence, nothing will change.

Columbia gets the lions share of U.S. DEA funding so it does more and the FARC is feared by the established Govt. The best way to deal with fear is to render fear back, or at least appear to.

Ecuador has a nominal army to begin with in both size and ability. Get realistic.

Venezuela... they view it as the U.S. being the main problem with the use of product and also have more a navel force for it's sea line than a diligent or well trained land force. Most of their army leadership is composed of ex drug personal from one regime or another; they do not represent an organized force as we would have. Overall, Chavez is a puppet of Russia. If you follow Putins steps for the last 12 years you will realize what's happened. So why be surprised?

The biggest long term asset is the unification of the South American banks. Even if they hide and launder drug monies under a unified existence, any external forces will have to be dealt with to move things into a more civilized setting for all concerned. Follow the money... and bankers like money to flow without restrictions and the least amount of problems. Hopefully this will not be used against the US economy.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 13, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

OPEC is far more important to US national interests than FARC will ever be. Chavez defends Venezuelan oil fields with Russian weapons but that doesn't make him Putin's poodle - those weapons are paid for with oil money. American oil money is still arming our enemies more than 5 years after 9/11.

Russia, as well as Venezuela charge whatever the market will pay for oil. OPEC propaganda is supposed to convince us that OPEC pricing protects world economic health, but current oil prices make that a lie. The US is losing an economic war with OPEC. Sending VP Cheney to OPEC to beg for mercy is a horrible idea. You might as well run up the white flag at the White House. The way to fight an economic war is with economic war. Instead, America turns away from the battle and just takes the economic hits, month after month, year after year, until there is no value left in the U.S. dollar.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 19, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

LOL!

You can not really believe that Z.

Your overall scope of a larger picture is non existent. Putin, in 1999 went to Venezuela ...and again, and again and again... all venues of Russian old school methodology have been implemented piece mill from the Russian Sino accord to the change in standing of the Cohen Act from 97. Castro and other third world leaders were always bounced off each other in the effort to mask Russian interest, which now include the purchase of 40 percent of Iraqs offshore oil rights. It is an overall economic, well planned attack against the devaluation of the American dollar which is used to purchase Oil.

The Saudis could care less as they win either way and the more separation and wars, the better for them security wise and monetarily.

The order of valuation is: the OPEC dollar first, followed by the NARCO dollar, followed by the Gold/metals markets.

We only get about 20 percent of our oil from OPEC in the US. OPEC is only important as oil is purchased with the US dollar and if it is devalued as now, oil cost more from OPEC -- Where do you research things?

If Chavez was working independently, he could easily use a McDonalds approach to selling his oil and have everyone knocking on his door... but he can't. He is a puppet President and always has been with the IQ of a tomato ...that is zero. He is a communist and not a socialist.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 19, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee -- Joe, if Chavez was Putin's poodle, then the Question of the Week would have been, "What responsibilities do Ecuador and Russia have to fight terrorism on Venezuela's borders?"

Nobody asked that question because It's a silly conspiracy theory to say Russia tells Chavez how to run Venezuela, or China tells Castro how to run Cuba, or the CIA controls Iran's ayatollahs, and it's not worth the time to discuss it.

Russia earned the Iraqi oil rights deal because, at U.S. request, Russia had to forgive about $12 billion dollars of Iraqi debt owed to Russia by Saddam's regime. Naturally, Russia's government expected something in return. The oil rights deal did not make the Iraqi government a Putin poodle. OPEC sets oil prices and production quotas which influence the price of oil no matter where the US buys oil. It makes no difference whether the US buys 20% or 50%, the OPEC cartel controls crude price and if they wanted prices to drop, they could quickly arrange for that to happen.

If Chavez was a moron, he could sell below market, but he is not, so he sells for as much as the market will pay. Hugo may be a communist while seizing of Exxon's oil fields but when it comes to pricing his oil, he is a capitalist. He does not have to be a genius to take advantage of OPEC's pricing strategy.

The larger picture is that economic warfare was launched against the US when OPEC was formed and the US government is now becoming road kill under OPEC's tank treads. Our government has no clue about what to do next so it sits like a deer in the headlights while the Federal Reserve is busy destroying the dollar and destroying the savings of the elderly in America in a form of financial suicide guaranteed to end further investment in America by other nations. The dollar has become an international pariah. This recession is going to be huge, structural and not transitory, and it is just beginning. On the positive side, the massive dollar collapse could be enough to motivate Congress to abolish the federal reserve. The primary job of the Fed, ironically, was to protect the value of our money.

So which is more important, FARC, or the annihilation of our country's dollar?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I think Joe's got a point, and not to put words in his mouth, I'll simply interpret the facts in context with something very basic underlying his position towards Russia.

One could obtain all the legal permits to build and run the lab, carry out the experiments in full compliance with the rule of law, yet in the end of the deal, those who play Russian Roulette must be held liable for the Frankenstein created for profit through arms sales to ethical infants.

I find good reason to question the intent of a nation that on one hand works to the common good in certain areas very well with the U.S., while at the same time sells sophisticated hardware of war to those that express threat and bellicosity towards America.

This hypocrisy must end on one side of the fence or the other, because the Frankensteins that are Chavez, Aminidijad and Co., are as equal a threat to the enabler, as is to those opposed to seeing the threats to wipe nations off the map become reality.

And lest folks think I speak of Israel alone at risk, or even the U.S. along with, I'm stating emphatically that should the international community as a whole fail to dismantle the Frankenstein governments run by ethical infants supported with the means to wage war by power mongering political blindness cloaked as "economic opportunity", there will be no economic or political stability in an unpeaceful and impoverished world.

So if I were to applaud Sec. Rice and President Bush for a very healthy and robust policy of logic and restraint, I do so because the U.S. has demonstrated that we are fully capable of dismantling Frankensteins at will, at a time of our choosing.

One may say that leaving Saddam in power after the first gulf war was an enormous tactical mistake, as well as a moral failure of our foreign policy at the time.

President Bush has stated that U.S. policy abandoned Afghanistan in the past, but recognizing this moral failure, has taken every effort to do right by the Afghan people for the long term.

So it is that the U.S. is blamed for the world as it is, unilaterally, without thought or care of how humanity got in this predicament in the first place.

When we correct past mistakes, we are blamed for creating new ones. At least we have the moral courage to take responsibility for the solutions employed upon ethical infants. And this in the hope the people forgive our trespasses as necessary to their nation's long term welfare.

And so, if Mr. Putin stumbles upon this blog entry, I hope he'll consider the words, and make a correct tactical choice as a moral imperative for Russia and the betterment of mankind.

The grandson of one of the original scientists on the Manhattan Project that built the first atomic bomb knows what he's talking about on a very personal level.

Hope it offers a little perspective.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 19, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

In my view, Putin's job is the same as Mr. Bush's job - the betterment of his nation, not all of mankind. National leaders owe loyalty to their own country first, not to the world generally. If they cannot protect their own country, they certainly have no business trying to protect other countries. Mr. Putin, at least, did not sit on his hands while his bankers destroyed the value of Russia's currency, and the ruble is worth far more today because of him.

Let's not forget so quickly that it was the US government who armed Al-Qaida, not Mr. Putin, and Venezuela is not Al-Qaida. Some people, such as VP Cheney, would say Al-Qaida is a more dangerous enemy. Do you know who else is buying U.S. weapons designs and systems? If so, then you already know how China obtained U.S. missile targeting designs, weapons systems and US hydrogen bomb warhead designs, and how Pakistan obtained nuclear weapons details. Remember the British agent who recently blew the whistle on a certain U.S. State Department officer who allegedly sold U.S. secrets? No Russia is not the big nuclear proliferation problem - we are.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 19, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

In an effort to address a lot:

1. We were under the fiscal gun when Russia pulled the wheat futures deal, threatened to dump gold on the market, OPEC formed and we had to scramble for the NARCO dollar. It all just happened to happen at once. Do you honestly believe that?

2. Nixon's administration circumvented the nail in the coffin by stopping the Russian Sino accord, which now does exist. It is more Like someone put 30 years on hold. It was the back up administrations fiscal lack of responsibility and some major National Security issues by a certain President who thought the world was one big nice huggy-kissy caring place. It is NOT. We did it to ourselves.

3. Putin was involved 30 years ago and has simply leanred, developed and deployed an absolute plan already in place due to Congress falling asleep at the wheel. Not Intelligence, not the military, not any particular President, but Congress and the Senate that control the money. Putin does not have to contend with Corporate intents, only use them. He manipulates what Capitalism exists for the benefit of his program, his Mother Russia, his National Interest. Not necessarily for the people, but the State. Capitalism is only a tool, not the driving gear...

4. Chavez is not intelligent enough to plan his own funeral and yes, he is just another Hitler. No more, no less. Russia cut its dead wood with Castro, but Venezuela was another story. We have both been down there forever. We have puppets, they have puppets. If your small, someone has to back you up. Even in America, you have to belong to something don't you? Church, family, corporation, military..you have to be part of a larger whole and that whole chain goes up the line. It's basic sociology. Can you really exist alone?

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 19, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

5. Talk about forgiven debut...Iraqis new administration had no obligation to Russia. That was agreed in the UN. His agreement was with a dictator who was disposed and the money was to be funneled into personal and private deals, not as a country asset. These deals happen because we are not privy to the actual agreements...like to stay out of certain areas, bring Russian troops into others. Why do you think we have all the information as to what actually goes on? Russia devalued our currency in a three hour period last year simply buying oil with the Euro dollar. We slipped fifteen cents, the Euro went up 15. Cost us billions on the international market. So maybe that was the agreement/deal arrangement: Russia would not purchase oil with the Euro dollar to settle the UN disputed agreement he had with Saddam. Not counting the U.S. debut Russia and China hold. They just happened to pickup more at that time. This happened because it was planned, no more no less. Yes, folks, there are people who do not like the U.S. and want to take us down. It is about power and has gone on for how many thousand years?

6. Waldon's Pond does not exist unfortunately. It is like the old adage: What if they had a war and nobody came? It is human nature to be led. It is human nature to exist and differ on how to exist. That is what culture is about. It is the reason for everything from personal desires, religions or the lack of, to the need for laws or control elements. Just as you cannot have freedom without limitations, you cannot have control with too few and it is in this paradox we all wander back and forth and disagree.

7. If there were not a recognized threat of a planned nature, we would not be polarizing with Russia. They threw in the glove first and kept slapping us in the face. Our saving grace is a President who does realize this. Putin started weaving his net over America over a decade ago and unless you are simply covered with trees, it is all out there in plan historical view. From visitations to developments. Be they economic, civil, leadership placements, aid ...name it. Follow Putin and the rabbit run/trail is well exposed now. Yes he is one very smart man. We think from election to election. The average American can see only what is in front of them. We are a disposable society. Russia never was, never will be and to put it in Putin's words back in the 80's: I think the United States needs to recognize their place in world ...while pointing to the size of the U.S. and comparing it to Russia ...then going on to state: how old is their culture, what great history do they have, what has been their place in the world throughout the civilized decades? Only to react when personally threatened. Putin always had a disdain for the United States. He is a Russian, through and through and we are the mutts of the world. Putin is the Bear. His choice of dogs show the man. Loyalty and fearless to size. That is his headset and always was. Do you think that these indoctrination youth camps are just incidental or recent? Unplanned? He started rebuilding his country before the wall fell ...consider the fact that some walls are meant to keep things in, not let them out to devour. The United States rebuilt Russia under the false pretext we could keep them subdued long enough to spread liberty and deal with China. Russia was already a decade ahead from the onset. Shame Thomas was book shelved'.and TE is gone. Gosh people, they never even did away with Dumas and their political infrastructure. Does that not say something? Who ever was stupid enough to say: It will be the mid-2000's before Russia will ever get back on its feet and be a world power? Every Chair person from every major University in America ...they could only be wrong if it was all planned. They are not all stupid or wrong. It is the only logical explanation. Yes, they do plan through other nations, just as we do.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
March 19, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

8. We helped train the Al Quida and equipped them in the late 70's- 80's ...How do you find that to be in the 2000's? We didn't give them as much as you may think because we were not supposed to be intervening. It was my baptism to that corner of the world. They captured and preferred Russian arms. Even now they have Russian arms, not American and yes stashes of Chinese and other old small arms. We found most the stingers and SAMs. Victor had them and was trying to resell them in SA.

Look outside what you are looking at. I believe that to be Rule 1 in any investigation of any type. Then find the strings because there is no co incidence in this game of world powers. That is what it is unfortunately.

Like it or not, we will never be one world hugging and kissing anytime in the near future and we will have to maintain our Vigilance of Freedom for not just America, but all we are related to.

The United States of America does give more, help more, provide more in every manner than any other nation on earth to both its own citizens and in outreach and support. Not just our Government, but our people. The U.S. has more missionaries and peace project personal citizens than any other on earth who give and give and give. If we go, so does it all. I honestly believe that....By the way; ask Putin why close to 28% of his people live sub standard of UN rated conditions. If he has so much money and he cares so much about all his children of Russia, why aren't they all eating well? Educated well? Have equal opportunity? Fair legal represented hearings? Freedom of the Press? Freedom of ownership? It no longer and never did exist. You can say the same of China. Less then 1% of the population actually has what you'd refer to as the Capitalist dream. Why don't they all?

American interference is not interference, it is direction to freedom. Interference is only a word of propaganda used by those who find a free society a threat to their leadership.

Have a good day and value your freedoms.

To the son of the son of: When fire became known, who thought it would be used as a weapon mixed with petrol to even enhance the capacity to maim and kill? When the spear was made to hunt and defend from the elements, who threw it in anger first into another human? There is no guilt in invention, only laws to govern misuse...

Ronald B.
|
New York, USA
March 15, 2008

Ecuador and Venesuela have the same responsibilities
as any nations to fight terrorism and protect their borders.
The real question is; did the USA provide weapons to either
nation via Victor Bout? ( global arms trafficker)
If so, isn't USG driving crime and terrorism?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Authors of previous posts:

So let's explore this in the context of the question of where responsibility lies in regards to regional cooperation to fight terrorism in general. Specificly as it concerns soverign territorial boundaries being a hinderance in some respects to dealing with non-state actors. Whether it be FARC, the Taliban, Al Quaida, PKK etc.

While differences in regional setting and circumstance certainly exist in each case, commonality exists in the sence that terrorist org (T) is using country (A) as a staging area to attack citizens and infrastructure of country (B), while country (C) lends material support to (T) for it's own political ends in the regional context.

It would be valid I believe to conclude that the territorial integrity of each nation is either breached or at risk by these circumstance. Country (C) being at risk of retaliation by either (A) or (B), or both by acting as a state sponsor of terrorism. Country (A)'s territory is compromised by (T) whether being willingly offering safe haven or not. Country (B)'s territory being compromised by (T), (A) and (C).

As I see it, the basic solution lies in cutting off supplies to (T), as with no bullets and explosives, there won't be much terrorizing going on.

And so to put this in simple generalized terms, whether a nation is willing or not to accept their reponsibility to cut off the flow of munitions, they all share equal burden to act under internationaql laws and various UN resolutions regarding designated terrorist org's, treaty obligations regarding common borders that may exist among them, and a general moral responsibility to the welfare of their citizens.

(T) has simply through its actions, voided its right to exist. It's members have only the right to declare unconditional surrender to the will of the international community and lay down arms to walk a path of peace and reconciliation. How that is achieved is dependant on their lack of capacity to sustain themselves as a cohesive fighting force, being without a local or regional support base.

It is also fair I think to consider any form of support for a sponsor of terrorism to be itself direct ( not indirect ) support for terrorism, and actionable via international law.

This is why I said Putin must make a correct tactical choice as a moral imperative for Russia and the betterment of mankind.

(because this is in Russia's national long term interest to do so, as well as for the common good of mankind.)

In an increasingly globalized international system, what affects one affects all either directly or indirectly. Borders become increasingly transparent, and only the foolhardy would fail to take this trend into account.

Herein lies an essential concept called "Responsibility to Protect" as defined during the 2005 UNGA. Which in itself is probably worthy of its own topic thread on DipNote.

Dave
March 19, 2008

Dave writes:

In regards to your question, I would hesitate to say that Venezuela and Ecuador have any obligation under international law to fight FARC militants on their borders, especially if the FARC militants haven't engaged in any violations of the domestic laws of the countries they are in. If Ecuador had been notified of the presence of FARC forces, they may have responded in their own way.

That being said, it is a violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador to have Columbian forces enter the Ecuadorian territory without the permission of the Ecuadorian government. (How would we in the U.S. like it if the "Canadian Liberation Army" fled into a remote area of the U.S., set up camp, and then were hit by Canadian air strikes, backed up with Canadian tank brigade, without the Canadians even informing our government or asking permission?)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Aye well, I don't believe our friends up north would, but an interesting scenario. Kind of reminds me of Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico.

In any case, I'm sure we'd be more than able to gag and bag'em, signed sealed and delivered to justice without outside help.

Done in compliance with all nation's obligations to fight terrorism under international law.

Domestic laws are subject to the nation's international obligations as well, where terrorism is concerned.

.

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