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| 8/31/2009 12:00:00 AM

Leaders Criticize Colombia Over U.S. Military Pact

Aug 31--Left-leaning South American leaders criticized Colombia on Friday for agreeing to allow the United States to increase its military presence on Colombian bases.

At a meeting in Bariloche, Argentina, leaders from Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia made clear their vehement opposition to the decision by President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia to expand cooperation with the United States to counteract narcotics trafficking and violence by insurgents.

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela demanded that Mr. Uribe give the group that was gathered, known as the Union of South American Nations, copies of the signed agreement with the United States. Mr. Correa argued that the accord put the region’s stability at risk.

“You are not going to be able to control the Americans,” Mr. Correa said. In response, Mr. Uribe insisted at the meeting, which was televised, that Colombia would not cede its sovereignty or even a “millimeter” of its territory to the United States. He said that the military bases would remain under Colombian control and that American soldiers would work only to combat drug trafficking and domestic terrorism.
 
Read more here.
 
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