November 23, 2007
Offended by Hugo Chavez's direct communication with one of its army commanders, the government of Colombia withdrew its consent for Chavez to serve as a go-between with the FARC guerrillas in hopes of securing a prisoner exchange before Christmas. Chavez had met with one of the rebel leaders last week. Former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt (who holds dual Colombian-French citizenship) is the most well known of the hostages. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is very busy dealing with a transportation strike in France right now, is trying to keep the mediation initiative alive. That's an unusual degree of French involvement in Latin American affairs. See Washington Post.