Hugo Chavez has ordered his troops to prepare for a possible conflict with US-backed Columbia. Chavez said, “The [U.S.] empire is more threatening than ever. Don’t make a mistake, Mr. Obama, by ordering an attack against Venezuela by way of Colombia.”
Both the United States and Columbia deny allegations that a US-Colombian military cooperation pact (signed last month) could set the stage for a US invasion of Venezuelan territory, and say that the deal’s only aim is fighting drug trafficking. “Colombia never has, and never will, make an act of war,” said government spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez. The Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, said in a statement on Sunday that he plans to appeal to the U.N. Security Council and the Organization of American States.
Tensions on the Venezuela-Columbia border prompted a deployment of 15,000 Venezuelan troops to the Colombian border last Thursday for increased security. Chavez said that if a conflict broke out, “it could extend throughout the whole continent”.