Monday, July 26, 2010

Chavez cancels Cuba trip citing risk of 'aggression' by Colombia

Chavez cancels Cuba trip citing risk of 'aggression' by Colombia
AFP, Jul 26, 2010, 01.21am IST

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez abruptly cancelled a trip to
Cuba on Sunday, citing the danger of "armed aggression" by Colombia amid
escalating tensions between the South American neighbors.

Announcing the decision at a political event, Chavez said he had
intelligence that "the possibility of an armed aggression against
Venezuelan territory from Colombia" was higher than it has been "in one
hundred years."

"Everything points to the Colombian government, and even more so to the
United States -- there you have the guilty one, there you have the great
instigator," added Chavez, who is highly critical of a US-Colombian
military base deal struck last year.

Chavez said Venezuela was ready to repel any aggression from Colombia.

Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with Bogota on Thursday in
response to charges by President Alvaro Uribe that 1,500 Colombian
guerrillas had taken refuge in Venezuela and were launching attacks from
its territory.

The United States on Friday threw its support behind its key ally
Colombia in its latest row with Venezuela, calling Chavez's decision to
sever diplomatic relations with Colombia and put border troops on alert
"a petulant response" to Bogota's accusations.

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