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Friday, July 04, 2008

Venezuela and Ecuador congratulate Colombia

Colombia Reports

July 3rd, 2008 ·

Venezuela and Ecuador have congratulated Colombia for the rescue of 15 FARC-hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. military contract workers. Both countries repeated their call on the FARC to release all hostages.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said to be thrilled about the liberation of the hostages without having to spill “a drop of blood”. “We share the joy. We are joyful and happy about the liberation of these people and moreover the release was done without the spilling of one drop of blood. We congratulate Colombia,” Chávez said on Venezuelan television.

According to Venezuela’s leftist president, he called his Colombian counterpart Álvaro Uribe personally to congratulate him.

Chávez again called on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to release all hostages.

The Ecuadorean government, currently refusing any diplomatic ties with Colombia, also expressed its satisfaction about the liberation of the 15 hostages and condemned the “methods used by the FARC and other irregular groups” use hostages to fight and finance their battle with the Colombian government.

“Ecuador reaffirms its position of demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all others that are abducted by those groups,” a press statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

Ecuador and Venezuela cut ties with Colombia after its military killed FARC-commander Raúl Reyes on Ecuadorean soil. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has since seeked to re-establish ties and will meet with his Colombian counterpart next week. Ecuador refuses any contact with Colombia, while Uribe is president.

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