Bush denounces FARC, Venezuela; calls for free Colombia trad
( dpa ) - US President George W Bush Tuesday denounced as "provocative" moves by Venezuela against the Colombian border, saying it threatens Colombia's fight against the "terrorist" rebel organization at the heart of the conflict.
Bush said the conflict that has put the region on the brink of war has pointed out the urgent need for US Congress to pass the US- Colombia Free Trade Act, which he said was no longer just a "matter of smart economics" but a serious "matter of national security."
The US has been backing Colombia with a plan to interdict the drug trade.
Bush said that he had talked to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who told him that passage of the trade agreement was key to reinforcing the message of support for the South American country.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which Bush called a "terrorist" organization, has for four decades carried out kidnappings and murder, financed through the drug trade, in an effort to unseat the democratically elected government.
Colombia's raid across the border into Ecuador on Saturday to kill FARC's second-in-command has triggered tension in the region. Ecuador and Venezuela, which has close ties to FARC, have sent troops to the border.