the washington times

Chavez sees 'threat' from U.S. bases

Aug 10--President Hugo Chavez told his military on Sunday to be prepared for a possible confrontation with Colombia, warning that Bogota's plans to increase the U.S. military presence at its bases poses a threat to Venezuela.


Mr. Chavez has issued near daily warnings that Washington could use bases in Colombia to destabilize the region since learning of negotiations to lease seven Colombian military bases to the United States.

"The threat against us is growing," Mr. Chavez said. "I call on the people and the armed forces, let's go, ready for combat!"

The former paratroop commander said Colombian soldiers were recently spotted crossing the porous 1,400-mile border that separates the two countries and suggested that Colombia may have been trying to provoke Venezuela's military.

"They crossed the Orinoco River in a boat and entered Venezuelan territory," Mr. Chavez said. "When our troops arrived, they'd already left."

Mr. Chavez said Venezuela's Foreign Ministry would file a formal complaint and warned Colombia that "Venezuela's military will respond if there's an attack against Venezuela."
 
 
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