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| 11/9/2009 12:00:00 AM

Chavez steps up Colombia war talk

Nov 09--Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged his armed forces to be prepared for possible war with Colombia amid growing diplomatic and border tensions--BBC NEWS

He said the best way to avoid war was to prepare for it. In response, Colombia said it would seek UN help.
Venezuela blames the tension with its neighbour on closer military ties between Colombia and the US.

Colombia says US forces are there to help in the fight against rebels and drug traffickers.
"Let's not waste a day on our main aim: to prepare for war and to help the people prepare for war, because it is everyone's responsibility," Mr Chavez said during his TV and radio show Alo, Presidente.

Mr Chavez has also ordered 15,000 troops to the border, citing increased violence by Colombian paramilitary groups.

The BBC's Jeremy McDermott in Bogota, Colombia, says that normally such declarations would not cause alarm, but because of the current tensions there are fears of a possible spark on the border which could lead to further violence.  
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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