bbc news

Chavez freezes ties with Colombia

Jul 29--Venezuela is withdrawing its ambassador from neighbouring Colombia and freezing relations, following a dispute over weapons supplied to Colombian rebels.

President Hugo Chavez, who announced the move on Venezuelan TV, also said he was halting trade deals with Colombia.

The announcement came a day after the Colombia government said weapons bought by Venezuela from Sweden in the 1980s had ended up with Colombian guerrillas.

Mr Chavez denied this and accused Colombia of acting "irresponsibly".

"I've ordered to withdraw our ambassador from Bogota," the Venezuelan leader said on Tuesday. "We will freeze relations with Colombia," he added.

As well as a diplomatic freeze, Mr Chavez warned trade relations would also be frozen and raised the possibility of expropriating Colombian companies.
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