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Peter Wilson: A Chávez/Obama Showdown?

Peter WilsonU.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duffy resumed his post in Caracas last month after being expelled by President Hugo Chávez in 2008. But he better not unpack his bags just yet. Rising tensions between the two countries are growing again, making a fresh rupture possible. There are two flash points threatening to bring promises of better relations tumbling down. One is Colombia; the other is Chávez's moves against the country's press. Both pose challenges to U.S. president Barack Obama's policy of seeking a less confrontational accommodation with Chávez. Colombia, for now, is drawing most of the attention. Chávez has yet to explain how anti-tank arms acquired by the Venezuelan Armed Forces in 1988 ended up in the hands of Colombia's largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Colombia said last week that three of the weapons had been confiscated last year when a FARC camp had been overrun. Colombian officials have repeatedly accused Venezuela of providing assistance to FARC, which is classified by both the U.S. and European community as a terrorist organization. Until now, they lacked a "smoking gun," directly linking Venezuela to the rebel group.

THE INDEX — August 3, 2009

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THE INDEX — July 31, 2009

A spokesman of the Nigerian national police on Friday said that "life is back to normal" after Muhammed Yusuf, the leader of the so-called "Nigerian Taliban", was Read more

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