If you still wonder why Colombia's president Santos has become such a good mate with Venezuela's military caudillo, you just have to take a look at the following chart of Venezuelan-Colombian trade.
This is the Venezuelan view
One can get the data from, among other sources, Colombia's governmental sites..
The drop you see around 2008 came when former president Uribe had Reyes, a FARC honcho, killed. Chávez went bonkers and decided to "freeze" relations back then. Colombia's economy resented it and when Santos got elected, he decided to play it safe.
That's why it's not only Lula who is in love with the caudillo's petrodollars. Latin American fraternity and democracy? Sure.
Ps. It is a pity Venezuela's opposition is not using this kind of information time after time. The only one I know that is keeping track of numbers all the time is Primero de Justicia's Julio Borges. Unfortunately, he tends to show the numbers in a rather monotonous way - no visualisation, just recitation and the odd chart. Most Venezuelans have poor maths skills but they will always understand and above all remember everything better if you show them a simple chart and give them the right reference story. I hope Borges and the whole PJ team use this kind of data in a proper way to reach as many people as possible. They should do this not via Globovisión talks but by targeting the other 70%. How? One way is to start spreading leaflets in the buses of Maturín, Punto Fijo, Los Guayos, Acarigua, Caracas.