For Brazil, Chavez’s Preparations for War Are Pure Rhetoric

Chavez, Venezuelan leader Venezuela and Colombia differences won't reach extreme situations and both neighbors will end up finding a way out through dialogue, says Nelson Jobim, the Defense minister of Brazil.

The dispute between the two South American countries has escalated dramatically in the last few months because of an agreement allowing greater US forces presence in Colombia and President Hugo Chavez' national alert calling the military and civilians to prepare for "a possible war."

Colombia immediately shot back saying it was taking the case to the Organization of American States and to the United Nations Security Council.

"I don't think anything at all will happen," said Jobim following a meeting in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia with visiting Israel president Shimon Peres.

"We believe it can be solved through dialogue, talking. Brazil's position has always been one of moderation."

Jobim also indicated Brazil had no intention or plans to mobilize troops to the border area because of tension in the area. Brazil has borders with both Venezuela and Colombia. Venezuela announced it was sending an additional 15.000 forces to border areas with Colombia and Brazil.

"Tension, let us say is part of the continental rhetoric," said Jobim.

However he did admit that the latest outbursts from President Chavez could damage the current process in the Brazilian senate for the approval of Venezuela's admission to Mercosur as a full member

"There could be a reaction from some sectors in the Senate…but Venezuela must participate in Mercosur because it's always good to be present and next to the region rather than distant," added the minister.

Venezuela's incorporation to Mercosur has already been approved by Brazil's Lower House and is pending a vote in the Senate floor.

Following the Brazil hurdle, Venezuela needs to convince the Paraguayan senate. Argentina and Uruguay legislatives have already approved the incorporation.

Mercopress

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