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Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela- Ministry of People?s Power for Foreign Affairs - Statement

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on behalf of the Venezuelan People, appreciates the words of condolence expressed by the president of the Republic of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, in his declaration to the Security Council on May 3 in Valledupar, Colombia, upon learning of the death of 16 soldiers of the Bolivarian National Armed Force of Venezuela and a civilian while working to protect our borders with our sister nation, the Republic of Colombia.

This unfortunate accident is a tragic illustration of the Venezuelan soldiers’ dedication to the accomplishment of the sacred labor in defense of the sovereignty of the Homeland and of their commitment to the duty of guaranteeing peace and security for the inhabitants of the border areas. The lives of these 17 compatriots are now added to the great price paid by the Venezuelan people as a consequence of the conflict that has wracked Colombia for more than 50 years and that will not cease until our brothers reach the path of peace and harmony.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela recalls that the fundamental causes of the Colombian conflict, of which Venezuela has historically been a victim, exclusively reside in Colombia and it must be independently solved by Colombians in a sovereign manner. Likewise, Venezuela reaffirms that it is a mistake to cast the responsibility upon the people and the authorities of Venezuela and imply that they should assume the costs of a conflict that is outside their reality and idiosyncrasy. Any call upon international organizations and regional mechanisms that might indicate Venezuela in this internal conflict will be considered absolutely out of line. Also, the Government and people of Venezuela reiterate their willingness to participate, under the conditions deemed necessary by the people and Government of Colombia, in any initiative having the sincere purpose of pursuing Peace.

May 4, 2009

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