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Chavez recalls ambassador from Colombia

posted by Adriaan Alsema
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Colombia news - Hugo Chavez

Venezuela president Hugo Chavez withdrew his ambassador from Colombia
on Tuesday as Bogota is close to making a deal about more intensive
cooperation with the U.S. in the two allies’ joint fight against drug
trafficking.

“Enough, it’s over. We will not tolerate this,” the Venezuelan Head of State said when again freezing relations.

Last week, Chavez ordered tanks to the Colombian border after both Colombia and the U.S. announced the approaching increased co-operation deal.

Following Chavez’ protest against the U.S.-Colombian cooperation, Colombia accused its eastern neighbor of providing Swedish rocket launchers to the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC.

According to Chavez, the latest Colombian accusation is a “new offensive, a new act of aggression of the Colombian government against Venezuela.”

“Knowing that it is absolutely false that we have given any kind of weapon to any guerrilla group, to any armed movement,” Chavez explained the freezing of diplomatic relations.

Chavez threatened to halt all trade agreements with Uribe’s government and find new suppliers to replace imports from Colombia.

Venezuela
and Colombia share some six billion dollars in annual trade. Among
goods imported from Colombia are milk and other food items that
periodically become scarce in Venezuela due to government-imposed price
controls. “We can get them from any other country,” Chavez said.

Chavez
also raised the possibility of shutting down a 139-mile pipeline that
carries 5.7 million to 8.5 million cubic meters (200 million to 300
million cubic feet) of natural gas daily from Colombia to oil
installations in western Venezuela. “The gas that comes from Colombia
isn’t indispensable for us. We could shut down that gas pipeline,” he
said.

The relation between Colombia and Venezuela has worsened to a similar state as that following Colombia’s March 2008 attack on a FARC camp in Ecuador. Relations between the two countries had been improving until now.

About the author

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Adriaan Alsema is the founder and editor-in-chief of Colombia Reports. Born and raised a Dutchman, Adriaan has been living in Colombia since 2008.

User Name: Adriaan Alsema

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