The New York Times | 11/23/2009 12:00:00 AM
Colombia's Uribe Seeks to Ease Venezuela Tensions
Nov 23--Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Saturday ruled out any military retaliation against Venezuela after Venezuelan troops dynamited two cross-border footbridges.
Venezuela says its troops this week blew up two illegal footbridges that cross over the border because they had been used by drug traffickers and smugglers.
Colombia criticized the action as an aggression and said it would denounce it before the United Nations and the Organisation of American States.
Ties between the two countries have soured over a Colombian plan to allow U.S. troops more access to its bases. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of American influence in the region, says it sets the stage for a possible attack against his OPEC nation.
Tensions run high on the 1,375-mile (2,200-km) border, an area rife with Colombian FARC rebels still fighting a four-decade-old war and other groups engaged in smuggling cocaine, guns and other contraband.
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