The relationship between Venezuela and Colombia is complicated by a number of issues, including the Colombian guerrilla settlements in Venezuela, which prove there are ties between the Colombian paramilitary forces and the Venezuelan government. Some of these Colombian groups, including the ELN and FARC, are described by Chavez as “Bolivarian forces”, in line with Bolivarian ideals, in spite of the fact that in Colombia they are described as “terrorists”. This is further complicated by the U.S. military bases and support in Colombia which has significantly increased tensions with Venezuela.
The image I had of Colombia as a kid was a country at war, filled with drugs and crime. Thankfully, this has changed. Colombia is still at war, but we look at the country and cannot help feel a bit envious for all the things like economy, tourism, and even security, that they have accomplished while we are going backwards. Venezuelan girls (at least my friends and I) love the Colombian accents, especially those from the coastal areas, and the Colombian clothes are in high demand because of their quality. As for the rest, we feel very connected. We eat similar things, listen to similar music. We are next door; we are brothers after all.